With 2009 now behind us and 2010 upon us, we want to extend a thank you to our loyal readers and customers and briefly reflect on what we strive to do in the North Bay and what we believe sets us apart.

We begin by noting that the owner of the nationwide City Business Journals Network of which the North Bay Business Journal is a member recently reported an 8.4 percent overall increase in subscribers over the past five years.

But there is more.

In addition to offering the only weekly business-to-business news and commentary in the North Bay as well as 80 comprehensive industry lists, the Business Journal has a thriving lineup of more than a dozen events that keep business people connected and informed.

They range from content-driven conferences on local issues in Sonoma, Napa and Marin as well as on challenges facing industries such as health care, construction and wine. And they include highly competitive awards such as Best Places to Work and Forty-under-40. In 2010, we begin with the Jan. 20 Book of Lists networking celebration and will mark our 10th anniversary of the Women in Business awards in June.

We also provide high-quality custom events on issues such as business succession planning and finance and special publications for organizations such as the Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster and Latino chambers.

In 2009, we put in place a significant upgrade to our Web site and breaking news alerts and traffic to northbaybusinessjournal.com set several records throughout the year. Between the print and digital products, we now reach four times the readers we once did. Look for more digital products from us this year.

An independent survey of our readership by Readex Research reminds us of the responsibility we have to meet the expectations of our readers.

More than two-thirds are an owner or partner in their company and 70 percent reported a networth exceeding $1 million. The average reader spends 37 minutes weekly with each issue. No other North Bay publication can make that claim.

For 2010 and beyond, rest assured we are committed to continuing to serve you.

Brad Bollinger, Editor in Chief, Associate Publisher

Sue Wildermuth-Adams, Director of Adertising, Associate Publisher