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Three easy ways to support local businesses

As we end the 20th week of our lives in a pandemic, the economic effects are starting to become clearer.

Downtown and in the North Main District, we have seen a few business closures, and we know others are struggling. The Durango Business Improvement District asks that you try to do these three things to help keep businesses in the heart of our town afloat.

First, BID asks that you be more purposeful than ever when making your shopping decisions. We all know that the summer months are a time where local businesses are profitable due to visitors to our area. Even though town is crowded, hotel occupancy stats show there are not as many people visiting as in past years. Our businesses need your support now more than ever. Try to find what you need locally before ordering online or shopping out of town.

Use BID’s online business directory at downtowndurango.org to help you find what you need. Click on EXPLORE, then BUSINESS DIRECTORY for a searchable list of businesses. There are six main categories of businesses, then subcategories under each main category. Or visit the Durango Chamber of Commerce’s site at durangobusiness.org and Local First’s site at local-first.org. Both have directories of their member businesses.

Second, when driving downtown, slow down. The city has recently installed new speed limit signs on the edges of the downtown district, asking drivers to stay at 10 mph. Going slow creates a better experience for people in the downtown area. BID also asks that you quiet your music, and don’t rev your engine excessively either. In our small, compact downtown, these simple measures can make a big difference.

Third, please continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing. This is something every person can do to support local businesses. When you are visiting downtown, BID encourages you to wear your mask at all times, both inside and outside businesses. In the summer on busy days, it is next to impossible to stay six feet away from others when walking through Downtown. Please wear your mask at all times when downtown; that’s what I do! If you need a break from your mask, walk around the corner on the cross streets so that you can be farther away from the crowds.

Now that you are shopping locally, have slowed down, and are wearing your mask, where do you park? To help everyone find parking quickly when visiting downtown, BID created a Summertime Parking campaign. Look for the signs at the City parking lots along E. 2nd Ave, and at the Transit Center. These lots are free for parking weeknights after 5 pm, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. For parking during the workweek, spaces are always available around Buckley Park, on E. 2nd Ave., and along Narrow Gauge. Take a look at downtowndurango.org/summerparking, and share this with your friends.

Thank you for supporting our local businesses!

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