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The holidays are fast approaching

It is hard to believe, but the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving is just one month away!

Many things will be different this season, but I hope one thing remains the same.

December has become the best month of sales for businesses downtown and in the North Main District over the past several years. I believe this is because of locals heeding the call of organizations like Durango Business Improvement District, Durango Chamber of Commerce and Local First, among many others. We typically think the summer months are our busiest time, but holiday shopping is what helps businesses end the year on a strong note.

BID asks you to continue shopping at local stores this year for your holiday gift giving. While local businesses collectively seemed to have weathered the shutdown and reduced capacities, the end of this year will be a critical time for their survival.

To help you do that, there are several plans in the works. First, watch for information to be released soon for Noel Night. Noel Night is produced by our friends at Local First, and is typically one of the best sales nights of the year for local businesses. Local First is working on expanding the Noel Night to occur on more than one day. Follow Local First on Facebook for the latest updates.

BID is working on two holiday shopping season promotions. First, we are planning on bringing back the Share the Love Online Store that we operated in April and May. The store produced over $100,000 in purchases at local stores; we hope to exceed that over the holidays. The store will collect goods and services from local businesses that you can purchase without having to leave your home. Think of it as our local version of Amazon.

Second, we are working on a rewards program to give you gift cards to local stores when you shop at a local store this holiday season. More information will be shared soon, make sure you follow our Facebook page at Facebook.com/DurangoBID for details. Our goal with this program is to produce another $100,000 in sales at local businesses.

The BID staff is also working to keep some of our holiday traditions intact. We manage the annual Singing With Santa event, where we kick off the holidays by having Santa come downtown. In a normal year, we hold a procession on Main Avenue with Santa singing Christmas carols. The procession leads to Buckley Park, where we light our community Christmas tree, and then we serve refreshments and have time for the kids to visit with Santa.

Many of those activities are very challenging to do in the current times. BID staff and working hard to re-create this annual tradition. Again, stay tuned to our Facebook page for details.

Stay strong, stay safe and shop local!

Tim Walsworth is executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at timw@downtowndurango.org.