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Our Opinion: Celebrating Progress in the Brainerd area

Brainerd lakes area businesses have a lot to celebrate this Labor Day weekend.

The economy is in a turnaround, new businesses are opening, unemployment is at historic low levels and jobs are there for those who seek them.

It's a spectacular turnaround from the Great Recession of a decade ago, and one the Brainerd Dispatch takes pride in saluting.

And as we do every year, we hope to capture a glimpse of the success of a few area businesses in the pages of our annual Progress Edition, available inside today's print edition (Monday, Sept. 3) of the Brainerd Dispatch and in the Thursday, Sept. 6, print edition of the Echo Journal.

Read about Baxter Village's renaissance; a profile on Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge, celebrating its 120th year in operation; a small produce farm taking off in Aitkin County; a successful mother-daughter quilt shop in Randall; a woman breaking the glass ceiling of business ownership in Brainerd; and the return of shoppers to Pequot Lakes a year after the completion of the Highway 371 bypass around the city.

There are also stories on a hockey camp in Deerwood, the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, a manufacturing business in Little Falls, reader submitted pieces on working with family, and so much more.

In all there are 20 stories filling 56 pages in the Progress Edition. The end result is an undertaking requiring a lot of time and effort with planning starting months in advance—from selling advertising to coming up with story ideas, setting up interviews, writing each piece picking photos and editing video. We're proud of the final outcome and the work of reporters, photographers and page designers in bringing the section to life each year.

And yes, we're already brainstorming story ideas that could be featured in the 2019 Progress Edition. If you have an idea, please let us know by phone at 218-829-4705 or by emailing

We hope you, our readers, will enjoy this year's Progress Edition as much as we enjoyed creating it. Have a wonderful Labor Day.