'I am speechless': Anonymous check to Minnesota small business owner provides much-needed boost

The owner of Lillian's in Buffalo, Minnesota received an anonymous check for her store amid the pandemic.

A small business owner in Buffalo, Minnesota received an anonymous donation, which is giving her boutique a much-needed boost amid a time when it is desperately needed. 

Sue Olmscheid doesn’t want to share exactly how much the check she received is worth, only saying it’s more than $1,000 and less than $5,000. Regardless the exact amount, she describes it as a “game changer.”

“I am flabbergasted,” said Olmscheid. “I am speechless.”

The owner of Lillian’s in downtown Buffalo quickly turned to Facebook Tuesday to share the piece of mail she received, which was addressed to her other job as the president of the local chamber of commerce. Inside, was an anonymous note and a cashier’s check worth a few thousand dollars. 

“It says, ‘During this time, it is important we care for our community. I hope this helps to keep the lights on. God bless you. Love, a longtime customer,’” read Olmscheid.

She says it came at just the right time. She knows much of her spring and summer inventory won’t sell and now is the time she should be investing in fall and even holiday merchandise for her store. 

“That’s where I’ve been deliberating how to do this, do I want to move forward and do that?” said Olmscheid.

Like many small business owners in Buffalo and beyond, she has been trying to figure out how to weather the storm of the pandemic. Recently, she teamed up with eight other business owners for a virtual sidewalk sale of sorts. Channeling their inner home shopping network skills, they took turns showing off items in their shops live on Facebook.

“Even if we are allowed to open our doors in some shape or form, I think we’ll still have to reach out more digitally because not everyone is going to feel comfortable,” she said.

Businesses owners like Olmscheid agree they’re trying to survive for themselves and their communities. The check received is unexpected proof of someone cheering them on. 

“This gave me that mindset of let’s keep moving forward, let’s find ways to do this, let’s meet our customers’ needs and we’ll come out the other side,” she said.

As for the anonymous donor, she shares her gratitude.

“I just want to say thank you,” said Olmscheid. “I don’t know where to thank or who to thank, but I know it’s one of you out there.”