SAUK RAPIDS -- As the spread of COVID-19 continues changing life as we knew it, area residents are stepping up to ease the burden for one another.

Last week, Connor Steen, owner of Unique Movers based in Sauk Rapids, decided he wanted to use his social media presence to help put money back into locally-owned bars and restaurants.

Every week, Steen will use his professional Facebook page to raffle off between $40-60 worth of gift certificates to a range of establishments, many of which are only offering takeout or delivery following Governor Walz's stay at home order.

"I didn't go to any chains because I want to support the St. Cloud community," Steen said. "We've worked with Bo Diddley's, Bad Habit, Pantown, Bravo Burrito. It's just what I came up with to give back."

Steen says, depending on how many people participate, he could start holding two giveaways a week through the duration of the stay at home order.

"It's a way to get the community to engage with one another," Steen said. "Someone might say, 'hey, I forgot about that place!' Or, they might learn about a restaurant they've never been to. We'll all be better off by supporting local."


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