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Get ready for Durango’s business pep rally

We need to celebrate those things that we can celebrate, and one of those things we do at the Chamber of Commerce each year is celebrate our businesses and individuals who make a difference in Durango.

(Yes, I realize I used celebrate three times in that sentence, but it was deliberate.)

At the Chamber, we’re gearing up for our Durango Rocks! awards, which pays homage (oh, I almost said celebrate again) to the tremendous folks who make this town and county what they are. And certainly this year, it’s been more challenging for everyone to keep us all going with spirits up. So ... Durango Rocks!

Durango Rocks! could be considered our annual pep rally. The time for rah-rah-rah and fun, getting together with our community members for good food (and maybe an adult beverage), camaraderie and presenting our annual awards.

We’re not quite sure what Durango Rocks! will look like this year. For at least the last 16 years, we have held it during the second or third week in January, and the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College has been our accommodating host. But, as said, we don’t know what this year’s event will entail. As we creep along through 2020, we should get a clearer vision.

But have you noticed? 2020 hasn’t crept along. Last I remember it was March and now it’s October. What’s the song from “Rocky Horror Picture Show”? “Let’s Do the Time Warp Again”? (You all should know by now that I have a bit of a “warped” sense of humor.)

But to the serious matter at hand: To honor our deserving businesses and individuals, we at the Chamber need you to nominate them. At the Chamber, we remain completely neutral – Rita and I don’t even have a vote. As far as we’re concerned, all our businesses and community members are superstars. But you need to tell us who is deserving of the awards. We’ve seen some trying times this year, but as they say, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, so I know there are numerous honorees deserving to celebrate (I used that word again).

It’s very simple to submit a nomination for awards such as Citizen of the Year, Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Volunteer of the Year and more at www.durangobusiness.org. You know you know businesses or people who have proven exemplary. How cool is it to acknowledge these folks for their consistent, diligent and conscientious effort keeping Durango and our residents up and running through this challenging year?

Please submit nominations so we can honor those who make Durango Rock!

Additionally, community members can always help our businesses, and I’d suggest starting your holiday shopping early. We’re not yet sure what holiday festivities downtown will look like, but you can give our businesses a little boost these next couple of months, the months we traditionally call the “shoulder season” – though the “shoulder” has been bigger and longer this year. I just had a vision of the Hunchback of Notre Dame (Get it? “Shoulder season”?). He seems to have arrived sometime in March. It would be nice to send him back to his spooky lair this fall and let us return to having numerous pep rallies in our great community.

Make a difference and start your holiday shopping early, and as Buck says, “Look Local First.” Every time you buy local, you support a business that supports a nonprofit, which supports neighbors who support businesses (aka the multiplier effect). Together, we can all make Durango Rock!

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