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Letter: Look locally first to fill your shopping needs

The holiday shopping season is upon us — we are flooded with Black Friday deals on television and social media.  Did you know that Small Business Saturday is Nov. 28? No need to go to the internet or even travel out of our community to find your gifts — we have wonderful choices right here in Albert Lea/Freeborn County!

Our small businesses are owned and operated by our friends and neighbors. We can shop for unique things such as clothing and shoes, furniture, gifts, toys, meats, coffee shops, health/beauty/wellness items, cupcakes, vehicles, floral, phones, artwork, frames and countless other wonderful items. We can dine from handmade specialty foods at their restaurants and catering services. At the core of every small business we have the local owner who knows the work it takes to bring their merchandise to you — our community. All of these small business owners are people who strive to fill your needs and your wants. And now that we have health and safety guidelines and practices to follow, they will work with you to shop safely be it in person, through Facebook or personal video tours of their shops. You can also participate in Shop Small Bingo — a fun way to shop local and enter into a drawing for prizes. There is also a printable take-out directory for local eating establishments. You can find out more about these business promotions and printable information on both of these resources at: explorealbertlea.com.

Another thing that makes these small businesses so special is that they also support each other. Our locally owned shops are working hard to keep their businesses open to provide for your needs and to provide for their families. When you shop locally, you are supporting your own to assure that these stores and services continue to be there.

On behalf of the Freeborn County Chamber’s Business and Education Collaborative (CBEC), we want to stress the importance of shopping locally first. The mission statement  and call to action of the CBEC is: Improving the quality of life in our communities between businesses and education through collaborative partnerships. We encourage you to look locally first as you shop in the next few weeks. Give these local business owners, whom are your friends and neighbors, the opportunity to meet your needs. 

Valerie Kvale

facilitator

Chamber Business Education Collaborative