As we are now closer to 2022 than to 2020, I thought it would be a good time to acknowledge where our state and country have gotten to following the pandemic, multiple shutdowns, and lengthy restrictions impacting small businesses and industries alike.

While 2020 brought lost lives and lost businesses, 2021 has been about recovery. Here in northern Minnesota, we have the Line 3 pipeline project to thank for our accelerated recovery.

It is amazing to hear from my fellow small-business owners how this important pipeline project has helped rejuvenate our region. This project singlehandedly has kept some small businesses afloat. Because of Line 3 workers, other employees along the pipeline route are seeing more hours, something greatly appreciated after 2020.

And as we are well into our summer months, which is peak tourism season, it is such a welcome sign to see our region relatively back to normal. But to get us to this normal, we cannot forget about where we started.

Recovery to the point we are currently at is a really big deal. Unfortunately, many areas across the country are not as lucky. We need to recognize how impactful the Line 3 pipeline project is to our region and our local economies and be grateful for the benefits we have seen since construction kickstarted our revival in December. I know I sure am.

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Niki Cole

Leonard, Minnesota

The writer is owner of Strand’s Store in Leonard.

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