Shop local: It’s an investment in ourselves

Dear Minot:

Small businesses play a vital role in Minot’s economy, but more importantly, those independently owned establishments are a critical element of what makes our community special.

We all know someone who either owns a business or is employed by a locally owned operation. The success of a thriving city – ours included — is directly tied to the success of its small business community, which provides the entrepreneurial spirit necessary for growth from within and the opportunities for residents and visitors to experience unique, one-of-a-kind establishments of all kinds.

But there’s another way to look at the local shopping opportunities that we enjoy all year in Minot: They are an investment in ourselves.

The experience of being part of your own community can’t be duplicated through your laptop or on your phone. In Minot and other cities in North Dakota, there’s a personal shopping journey waiting for you. With the holiday season here, it’s a great time to take advantage of those opportunities. For all its convenience, online shopping through major retailers simply cannot compete with the personal touches and in-person customer service that are part of the unique businesses thriving in our home towns.

That feeling, that visible sense of community and character, is at the heart of what Minot is all about.

The tree lighting ceremony held downtown on Nov. 25 and the accompanying Christmas open houses held by many establishments is a wonderful example of what I’m talking about. If you attended the event, you already know what I mean. If you didn’t get a chance to be downtown for the event, you missed something truly amazing.

The area around the intersection of Main Street/Central Avenue was packed with people, joining their neighbors, family, and friends in welcoming the Christmas season to Minot. There was a palpable electricity in the air. It was a community event in every sense of the word. As I looked out over the sea of attendees, I realized it was a privilege to be part of it as your mayor.

While a healthy and vibrant downtown business district is vital to the success of any community, we must also remember that locally owned businesses exist in every corner of Minot. Not every business is suited to be located downtown; some need more space or a larger footprint to sell their goods. Others have simply made the choice to locate along Burdick or Broadway, or another of the busy roads in town. But the bottom line is this: There are successful businesses all over Minot that are owned by residents of our community, and they all deserve our support.

The success of our city is dependent on all of us working together to build each other up, and to recognize that what’s good for our business community is good for all of us. Our history of helping each other has been repeatedly tested by natural disasters and tough economic times brought on by a global pandemic. But we have consistently aced those tests, and our commitment to investing in ourselves is unshakeable.

This holiday season, I hope you join me in continuing to support local businesses of all types, in all locations in Minot. Our residents have always worked to support one another, in good times and bad. This is another opportunity for us to prove that our people are what makes Minot magic.

You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.


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