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Editorial: Tribune Thumbs

To local businesses gearing up for another holiday shopping season.

Hats off to all the retail businesses in the community as they kick off another holiday shopping season this weekend.

In addition to in-store shopping, many stores are offering a variety of shopping options for customers, including curbside pickup, delivery or shipping, private shopping appointments, online ordering and virtual shopping appointments.

To encourage more local shopping this holiday season, the Albert Lea Convention and Visitors Bureau and Albert Lea Main Street Program have created a bingo game for people to participate in to win prizes. Participants in the game can either pick up a bingo card or print one off from the organizations’ Facebook pages. Bingo squares can be marked off from doing things such as purchasing something local, writing a review on Facebook or sharing a business’s post on social media.

We encourage people to take part in the festivities and to check out all the shopping opportunities available in Albert Lea before venturing elsewhere online or out of town to make a purchase. You’ll be surprised at what you might find if you take the time to shop local.

Remember, shopping local supports your friends and neighbors and in turn supports the community.

 

To a possible second round of local business relief.

We were pleased to hear this week that the city of Albert Lea, Freeborn County and Albert Lea Economic Development Agency are discussing a second round of relief grants for local businesses that have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Albert Lea City Council on Monday authorized city staff to work with staff from the other two agencies on a program to help local businesses in need of aid.

The aid comes after Gov. Tim Walz ordered the closure of restaurants, bars and fitness centers for 30 days.

All of these businesses have had a challenging year, and we hope that the additional local relief could give them the boost they need to survive. These businesses bring so much to the community, and we hope this shows how much the community appreciates them in return.

 

To the entities who gave out food in the community this week.

Many organizations give out food on a regular basis, but this week three organizations went above and beyond their normal efforts to help the community.

The Albert Lea School District on Tuesday gave out almost 20,000 meals to students in the district and their families thanks to the USDA’s extended Summer Food Service Program and a Community Hub Feeding Grant received by the district that is aimed at feeding adults in households where students live.

The Albert Lea Salvation Army, also on Tuesday, had its traditional community Thanksgiving dinner with all the fix-ins of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Unlike previous years where the event has been at the Fairlane Building at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds, this year it hosted its event in a drive-thru format outside its corps office, handing out the meals to people to take home. Thanks also to Albert Lea’s Hy-Vee, which also distributed meals to local families in need this week as part of a larger effort with the business.

We’re grateful these organizations are working to fill needs and to make sure our community’s residents had a nice holiday and have enough food for their families.