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Buying local makes a big impact

In partnership with the Durango Business Improvement District, Alpine Bank and Eolus Bar & Dining, the Durango Chamber is once again co-sponsoring the Holiday Rewards Program. This program compensates those who shop locally at restaurants, retail shops, personal services, accommodations, attractions and other selected businesses.

When you spend $100 or more, you may receive a gift card from one of 12 local businesses. All you have to do is go online and submit your receipts from participating local businesses. Gift cards are available until they are all claimed. You can find eligible businesses at DowntownDurango.org/holiday-rewards. There are definitely more rules you need to check out online, but this has been a very successful program and we’re pleased to be a partner again this year.

Why is this program important? It’s simple. The message is buying, eating, shopping and looking local first. Before you go online to purchase a gift, why not check out our local stores that might have something similar (or even something better)? Your actions have significant impacts on our community. Besides, how often have you ordered something online that didn’t fit, was the wrong color, wasn’t what you thought it was (didn’t match the picture)? These are just a few things to consider before you add it to your online cart and click “buy.”

Buying local not only allows you to try it before you buy it, but there are many economic reasons. I’ve probably said this multiple times throughout the years: When you look at the big picture, we all benefit. It’s called the multiplier effect, and this happens when you purchase something from a local business and those dollars get recirculated, creating more jobs and a better economy for all. Think of it this way, local businesses pay their employees, who then spend money at other local businesses who remit taxes. Some of this money goes to our public infrastructure, schools, parks, roads and more. In essence, you are contributing to the overall economy both socially and economically. Local businesses are also more likely to support nonprofits in our area. Durango is fortunate to have many nonprofits that help fill the void where services are needed, and we also have many generous businesses that make cash and in-kind donations that help keep these organizations operating.

Another great way to connect locally is by personally donating to these local nonprofits. With so many nonprofits in Durango, there’s sure to be one that aligns with your passions, whether it’s children or the elderly, the environment, animals, social services, education, arts and culture, and so much more. In fact, the Durango Chamber has more than 50 nonprofits that are members. To help you with ideas, visit our website, DurangoBusiness.org and search our online directory.

Before you click “buy now” this holiday season, remember buying local has a major impact on our economy. And these are just a few ways you can help make a big difference and continue to support our fantastic community as a great place to live.

Jack Llewellyn is executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at jack@durangobusiness.org.