Shop local and support Sleepy Eye small businesses

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

For the next four weeks Minnesotans and some Minnesota businesses have been asked to put a pause on activities and social gatherings. Remember last March when all most everything just shut down? We got through it and we can do it again. But our local businesses need our support.

Downtown Sleepy Eye

The Herald-Dispatch asked Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Christina Andres a few questions about how our business community is reacting and how we can support them.

When Gov. Walz announced the dial back of activities in the state, he said shopping in retail stores has not led to a big spread of COVID-19 and is still allowed. He stressed shopping is mostly safe because people have been good about wearing masks and maintaining a distance from other shoppers.

“Retail stores are not affected by the latest round of Emergency Order restrictions, in fact retail is open 100%,” Andres said. “Shoppers must still maintain the safety protocols required by the establishments.” 

Andres suggested purchasing gift cards and certificates as another easy way to support Sleepy Eye’s various shops. She said shoppers should also use social media to share the great experiences they have in shopping local and encourage others to visit for good finds.

With restaurants closed to sit-down dining, now is the time to order take-out meals to keep them goin. Andres said all the restaurants and food places offer take-out options and some have online ordering as well. 

“Visit the Dining & Entertainment page at sleepyeyechamber.com to learn about the options offered locally,” Andres said. “Each business also has kept their social media pages updated with information and menus for you to be informed.”

Andres said the Chamber would love to see local businesses leaning on each other and supporting those that cannot be open as normal. 

“Business collaboration during the holidays is truly what the season is all about,” Andres said. “Encouraging employees to order take-out from restaurants and giving gift cards or certificates are another great way to make this season a little brighter for our Sleepy Eye businesses.”

There is no doubt that bars and restaurants will see a drop off in business and other businesses have unique struggles, as well as people who are unemployed. 

Andres said the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is encouraging financial assistance from the governor and lawmakers to provide businesses and employees with much-needed aid. 

Governor Walz has stated repeatedly that the nation’s governors have asked Congress to pass another CARES-type bill. Monday he said his team is working on a comprehensive Minnesota COVID-19 relief package for the state’s small businesses and communities. Walz said he will call a special session as soon as the legislature agrees on a package to provide this much-needed relief.