The Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers on Thursday announced Cardinal News is a finalist in its New LION Business of the Year.

In making the announcement, LION said the award “recognizes a business, founded after Jan. 1, 2021, that exhibits even in its very early stages, a clearly-defined commitment to working toward achieving sustainability through operational, resilience, financial health and journalistic impact.”

Cardinal News is a finalist in the small revenue tier and was selected for this honor along with Gig Harbor Now, The Palm Springs Post and Shasta Scout.

The winner will be announced during the Independent News Sustainability Summit in Austin, Oct. 27-29.

This recognition follows an announcement last month by the Institute for Nonprofit News that Cardinal News is a finalist in its medium division for the Community Champion Award. A virtual awards ceremony will be held Sept. 21.

“When we launched Cardinal News last September we knew we were filling a major gap in news coverage for our region. We had no idea how quickly we would grow, nor of the impact that we would have on our readers and our communities,” Luanne Rife, executive director, said. “We are honored to be recognized twice by our industry’s top national organizations for our journalism and now for our business model and impact.”

Cardinal News began with a dozen donors and a hundred newsletter subscribers. On Thursday, our newsletter went out to more than 8,300 subscribers, and our journalism is being supported by more than 1,500 donors.

Cardinal News is expanding its staff to meet the growing demand for in-depth, independent stories about the politics, economy and culture of Southwest and Southside Virginia.

Cardinal News is modeled after public broadcasting, and is solely funded through gifts from individuals, businesses and foundations.

LION Publishers is a professional journalism association for independent news publishers and has more than 400 members in the U.S. and Canada.

The Institute for Nonprofit News represents hundreds of independent, nonpartisan news organizations that are dedicated to high standards in journalism provided as a public service.