“You could lie down in the middle of Main Street on Saturday night and not get hurt,” the older gentleman said, as he spoke of his small diminishing town. “It used to be a hopping place, back in the day,” he reminisced. Not such an uncommon reality and challenge for smaller towns today. Luckily, I thought, we in Sleepy Eye have a Main Street and side streets, that hold some wonderfully successful businesses.

In recent travels, a campaign or slogan throughout a small town caught my eye. It read “Main Street Matters,” seeming to encourage community members to support local businesses. I do shop in town and out of town too, but the shopping I do in town has that wonderful added feature of personal customer service. Just knowing the good people in the businesses we have, I wish I had a purpose to utilize each of them. They certainly all deserve some kudos. Have you ever had the experience of having more energy when you leave a store than you had when you went in? Where the people in it really care and appreciate that you are there? Where the store is so peaceful you can just feel the good energy? That is an amazing feeling! Consider the stores in our town. Which ones do you get that feeling from? Where is it that people say your name when they say hello? Where do you feel welcomed and appreciated? What stores have employees who go the extra mile for their customers, going above and beyond their job descriptions? We are fortunate, really, to have many.

Some businesses are competitive, and perhaps we have found one organization that works well for us, but all businesses do rely on us to promote and sustain them. Not long ago, I had the opportunity to meet a friend for lunch. We chose Pisoma. I really have to share the experience, because it was, just that. I ordered a chicken salad sandwich and it wasn’t just a sandwich, it was one of the biggest experiences my taste buds have had for a long time. Oh my! Every bit of my tongue tingled with an amazing, delicious flavor and sensation. It was the most exciting chicken salad sandwich I had ever tasted! There is some amazing food produced in there!

Whether it’s a sandwich, service or product, remember that Main Street Matters. Pay attention to that special feature of warm hospitality. In order for our town to continue to thrive, we need our businesses to be successful. In order to be, they need our support. We are truly lucky that our streets remain busy enough that we cannot lie down in the middle of them on Saturday nights or any day or night!