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Businesses of Year

THUMBS UP: The New Ulm Chamber of Commerce held a digital annual meeting this year, in keeping with the COVID-19 regulations. It is fitting that members, via Zoom, selected two businesses of the year, one of which has been dealing first-hand with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oak Hills Living Center was the Large Business of the Year selection, and BoCo Real Estate was the Small Business selection. Oak Hills is certainly a deserving selection. Its employees have been battling since last March to keep the virus away from the elderly residents there who would be most at risk. Their heroic efforts, along with the efforts of other long term care employees around the county, kept the virus at bay for months, while other facilities around the state were ravaged. Oak Hills employees certainly deserve the honor this year.

And BoCo Real Estate, owned and operated by Eric Bode, is also deserving. Bode has been involved in real estate developments that have been reshaping downtown New Ulm, and we’re sure his optimistic energy will be exactly what’s needed in town when the COVID-19 threat finally begins to fade.

Congratulations to both, and we hope there will soon be an opportunity to celebrate together.

Give breweries an even break

THUMBS DOWN: We don’t know what arcane, archaic thinking went into the state’s law governing the sale of “growlers,” but it truly puts larger craft brewers at a disadvantage. Once a brewery produces more than 20,000 barrels, it can’t sell the take-out half-gallon containers from their own brew pubs or rathskellers.

Schell’s Brewery, through its diligence and excellence, has become the largest brewer in the state. Why should it not be able to sell growlers at the brewery’s tap room? Legislators should give them and others an even playing field.

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