Did you vote with your dollars this week in beautiful Prior Lake? Which restaurant, auto repair shop, clothing store, dentist or hair salon did you enthusiastically support?

The business owners of Prior Lake want you to shop local, shop often. We decide every day where we will shop and eat. Now is the time to reach out to neighbors and family for time together at a local business — sharing a beer, donuts, an elegant meal or surprise party. And if you have one or two businesses that you think are especially deserving, please put your thoughts on paper and send it to editor@plamerican.com by Tuesday noon so we can all know your favorite places to shop and dine.

Prior Lake is a fabulous community with a short-term challenge — road construction. Every city in America has faced this issue. The orange cones and the road construction are a sign that improvements are underway. Some people flee the area and wait for the disruption to pass. Dedicated Prior Lake residents do the opposite — we come together to support each other.

Andrea Mullenmeister and friends pushed forward with a great idea — Pleasant Street Art Walk, a chance for us to meet our neighbors and buy from community artists. Danielle Collignon recently opened Lueur Boutique on Main Avenue and has scheduled the grand opening beginning on Oct. 17. She hopes you will visit her store along with other businesses throughout Prior Lake.

We can survive and thrive if we all come together. Our mayor, City Council, and Economic Development Authority have been instrumental in building consensus for the road construction and for the “It’s really worth it!” campaign in support of the businesses that are effected. The economic authority and the Business Engagement Committee have created events and activities to bring people to our downtown and South Lake Village — those areas most effected by the construction.

Chamber President Sandi Fleck is one of our most effective cheerleaders for businesses. She loves a challenge. Sandi works with her board of directors, business owners, city officials, community organizations and nonprofits to keep the focus on Prior Lake.

Her team took bold action to reinvent Lakefront Days when the roads were closed. They create networking activities, share best practices and sponsor events that bring businesses and shoppers together for the benefit of all. Most importantly, Sandi follows her favorite golden rule. Every day she drives around the cones, stops at local businesses, makes purchases and thanks the owners for their commitment to Prior Lake. We can build a better city if we all follow her lead.

Thanks to the Prior Lake American for their recent article — “Outlasting the slowdown” (Oct. 5). Meg Britton-Mehlisch and Dan Holtmeyer shared pictures and points of view. They gathered details from business owners about fewer customers coming to their businesses, strategies they are adopting to deal with this challenge and their hopes for the future of Prior Lake when the roads are paved and our shopping areas are more glorious.

Business owners work hard to meet our needs, but they face a challenge for the next few months. Please arrange your schedule with family and friends; drive around the cones, walk into storefronts and check out the amazing brands, delicious offerings and excellent service. Let’s show our businesses that we love what they offer and their commitment to our city.

Lloyd Erbaugh lives in Prior Lake with his wife. He focuses on diversity, training, recruiting and team performance.

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