The uncertainty of 2020, along with the shutdowns and reduced travel, hurt many businesses in our area.
I am proud to say the Durango Business Improvement District stepped up in a major way to support businesses in the heart of our town and throughout the entire county. Balancing the public health needs and the economic health needs is no easy task. Here are some of BID’s accomplishments:
Personal Protective Equipment – BID distributed a large of amount of free PPE to businesses located downtown and in the North Main District. This included 7,350 pairs of disposable gloves, 125 touchless thermometers, 400 half-gallon bottles of hand sanitizer and 20,000 face coverings. Promotions – BID created several new promotions to support businesses. The first Share the Love Durango online store made $101,000 in sales. The second online store made $31,000 in sales. BID’s Holiday Rewards Program was supported by the Durango Chamber of Commerce, and produced $119,000 in sales at local stores. Combined, these promotions resulted in $250,000 injected into local businesses. Special thank to our sponsors – Alpine Bank, Durango Motor Co., Bank of Colorado, Morehart Murphy Regional Auto Center, La Plata County Economic Development Alliance and the town of Bayfield. 5-Star program – BID played a lead role in obtaining state approval to implement this program locally and continues to work with other economic development organizations to manage the program and help businesses receive approval. Businesses that receive the 5-Star certification are generally allowed to operate at the allowances for the next least restrictive level on the state’s dial that determines how open businesses can be. A list of all 5-Star certified businesses, all that have implemented enhanced public safety protocols to keep everyone safe, can be found at swcoda.org/5star.Bump-outs – the city of Durango did the heavy lifting to create outdoor space downtown for businesses, but BID supported those efforts in many ways. 10,000 new square feet was created for business operations, and the businesses that used the space reported it played a huge role in the profitability of their businesses over the summer. Ambassador program – BID was able to operate its Ambassador program over the summer months. Ambassadors are friendly and knowledgeable about all the businesses and amenities downtown, in the North Main District and around the area. Collaboration – collaboration between economic development organizations and local government has always been strong, and now is at an all-time high. Nearly all the accomplishments above were possible because of partnerships with other groups. Thank you so much to all our partners and supporters. I also want to thank Tanya Clegg, BID’s marketing director, for her tireless work over the past year. BID’s communications consultant Indiana Reed and BID’s bookkeeper Deb Morgan also played key roles in 2020. Last but not least, thank you to the BID board of directors for your leadership and guidance. BID board members are Sebastian Hartley, John Mahoney, James Allred, David Moler and Carly Thompson.
BID will continue to create and implement successful programs in 2021 to support businesses in these trying times.
Tim Walsworth is executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.