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Locals help businesses weather storm

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Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018 9:52 PM

The city of Durango released sales tax data recently which show how summer started this year for local businesses. As we all know, the 416 Fire started June 1, and it was a very slow start of our high season. The question is, how slow was it?

The good news first: Overall sales tax collections that occurred in June this year were down 3.3 percent for the central business district compared to June 2017. However, sales tax for the entire city was down 5.7 percent for the month, and down 9.5 percent and 8.2 percent for north and south Durango, respectively. Downtown had the smallest decrease in June.

Year to date, the picture looks even better. Through the month of June, downtown is showing an increase of 2 percent. North Durango is up 6.9 percent year to date, which really shows the resurgence this part of town has been experiencing. The entire city is up 2 percent as well.

The downside is that we anticipate July figures to also show a decrease, and it would not be surprising if August was similar. Many businesses can weather one off-month, but three in a row at what is supposed to be the busiest time of the year will be tough.

I believe the reason downtown was down just over 3 percent for June was due to locals coming out and supporting businesses in the heart of our community. The Durango Business Improvement District asks you to continue to do that.

To help you, BID has an online business directory that is searchable by keyword. Merchants put their brands and types of items that they sell in this directory, which helps you keep your dollars local.

Also, review the Durango Chamber of Commerce member directory, as well as the members of Local First.

All of these are good ways to try to keep your spending in the local community.

If you can’t find what you need online or on a directory, please call the BID staff. Tanya and I are happy to talk to you about what is available locally. Need a new reclining chair? How about a new mirror or countertops? What about an architect or an attorney or a CPA? We have all of these and more in downtown and in the North Main District, and we are happy to help you find what you need.

On a different note, BID managed the San Juan Brewfest event for United Way over the weekend.

Nearly 2,500 attended, and our early estimates are that 1,000 of those are from out of the immediate area and made a weekend out of it in Durango. It appears that we will raise at least $35,000 for United Way, which is what it’s all about. Thanks to our sponsors, vendors, bands, volunteers and attendees for another great Brewfest. Save the date for next year, when the Brewfest turns 21 on Aug. 24, 2019.

To keep up with information about downtown and the North Main District throughout the year, sign up for BID’s weekly E-News. The E-news is a short, accurate and timely information piece published every Wednesday morning. To sign up, go to DowntownDurango.org and click on the “I Want To” tab.

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

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