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Supporting Durango businesses with unique offerings

There is a lot more to the Durango Chamber of Commerce than meets the eye. While networking events and other educational programs are integral to what we offer the community, we also work behind the scenes to support the well-being of local businesses, advocate on their behalf and provide resources for their employees, all creating economic vitality.

In our more than 100 years as a membership-based business organization in Durango, we have learned to evolve and update our services to address the ever-changing issues that arise. Whether you are a member of the Chamber or not, we are advocating for the best interest of our local businesses and are continuously developing innovative ways to bring our community together.

So, what exactly happens behind the curtain? It all boils down to active involvement, visibility and advocacy. We are a catalyst, connector, convener and champion for our members and the community.

As a 501(c)(6), we act as a prominent voice for small companies and advocate at the local, state and federal levels providing input on the policies and issues that directly impact Durango’s businesses. Our advocacy work for our 700-plus members provides them a voice when they don’t have the time to monitor and attend the meetings and legislative sessions. When additional data and input is needed, survey results are reported to elected officials.

Furthermore, the Durango Chamber is the parent organization for Leadership La Plata. The next cohort will represent 35 years and close to 600 graduates. In addition, we also have up to 40 Diplomats supporting the Chamber who help promote our mission and members with ribbon-cuttings, attend programs and enhance community involvement. Our Young Professionals of Durango connect, empower and engage with other professionals between the ages of 21 and 39 by providing educational, social and philanthropic activities.

The connecting and convening side includes monthly offerings. Lunch and Learn Workshops feature local businesses that provide knowledge and resources on topics that range from marketing strategies, to branding to exceptional customer service and more. If you want to participate in a more relaxed networking environment, our Business After Hours is an excellent opportunity to interact with other local business leaders. Coffee Connections is the first Tuesday of the month.

Our quarterly Eggs and Issues allows professionals to come together with influential leaders and government representatives to hear about current issues impacting our community and spark honest discussions. New this year is our “Get to Know the CEO” Speaker Series, where CEOs share inside knowledge from some of our community’s most accomplished leaders. Additionally, our Look Local First campaign is our ongoing effort to promote the importance of shopping and consuming local products and services to support a robust and diverse local economy.

Other opportunities include: Friday Business Facts E-blast, a monthly newsletter that has both 2,500 subscribers and an average 40% to 50% open rate. Data Axel data mining tool provides national information for businesses and consumers. Our membership funds contribute invaluable marketing services like these, helping our members promote and grow their businesses.

Through a wide variety of opportunities, you can get involved and meet like-minded professionals and business owners who love Durango and the surrounding area.

If you have questions about joining the Chamber, please give us a call at 247-0312 or visit our website, durangobusiness.org, and learn more about our unique offerings.

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