Curbside pick-up from Moxie, a chic women’s clothing store located in downtown Hibbing featuring items made locally, and in the USA, was a reminder of how appreciative I am of small-town living and kindness.

My purchased items were tucked neatly in a gift bag and were delivered with smiling eyes and a fashionable mask to my vehicle window. We shared genuine laughter and heartfelt conversation, reminding each other that we are not alone in this crazy world that we live in.

Here was an upbeat woman with a strong work ethic operating a small business in the middle of a pandemic with positivity to share to the world around her. I drove away feeling encouraged about the way I have been navigating the world and uplifted by her genuine nature.

Northeastern Minnesota features so many wonderful locally owned businesses who truly are the heart of our region.

You will often receive a hand-written note expressing genuine appreciation for supporting them when you purchase something locally, especially now when the way businesses know has changed so significantly.

Our friends and families are the heart behind the businesses – the ones who greet you with warmth and ask about your family. Plus, it is a 12-minute drive to your favorite restaurant, grocery store, or insurance agency.

For the Cheers television show fans out there, it is like walking into your favorite watering hole and having everyone call out your name like they did for Norm.

It is being greeted with kindness when seeing those individuals in church, school, and at the gym. A small town can have a special warmth when you support and encourage one another.

When you buy flowers from the local floral shop, it is helping feed their family and stimulate the economy. These businesses are the same ones who support local causes, from giving homemade Italian spaghetti sauce to your dad’s benefit to making sure your kid’s teams are able to purchase their uniforms.

They are the ones having a team at your golf meet or sponsoring an event to help raises funds for nonprofits who also make a difference in our region.

Purchasing custom-made T-shirts or hats for your business from the shop on Main Street be the only sale they receive that day. It helps pay their heating bill and keeps them operating, so our towns have character and items to offer for shopping.

It also gives them hope to keep going knowing that there are those locally who support them and want them to succeed.

With the internet, you have access to anything that you want 24/7 to be sent to your door stop from anywhere. But, it likely won’t be delivered with an appreciative smile or hand-made note from someone in your community who can’t thank you enough for keeping their doors open.

Melissa can be reached at


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