The Durango Chamber of Commerce played an active role to support local businesses as they struggled through closures during the pandemic. Chamber Executive Director Jack Llewellyn explains all the changes the organization made during the past year in this first edition of Chamber Chat, brought to you by Durango Local News.
Hello, Jack Llewellyn with the Durango Chamber of Commerce here with Chamber Chat. Thanks for joining us. So, the Chamber like everybody pivoted in 2020 during the pandemic we relaunched the Southwest task force convened all the group back from the 416 fire. We also introduced the grand junction five-star program to the committee members and then the state adopted the five-star program, and we moved forward with that. We've also sponsored the Business Improvement District also known as Bid Holiday Rewards Program and Spring Rewards Program which is going on right now. We had nearly 1400 survey responses. We share those with local state and federal officials letting them know what the local Chamber Felt and our Members Felt Immediately participated with the Save our Business Coalition which is a national organization. We also pivoted to virtual trainings. Hosted 14 sessions total of 728 in attendance. We also were distributing masks, 2,650 masks and almost I'm going to say 200,000 reference USA or data axle downloads for local businesses. That's both business and consumer. We also had 63,000 website views between April and December. To say the least, we were incredibly busy. We also have the eggs and issues candidates form with a record 230 people registered which occurred on March 4th. And you can still go to durangobusiness.org check that out and you can see, the City Council candidates and what they had to say. So again, durangobusiness.org for that information. We continue the current Chamber Memberships Scholarships and that's a big shout out and thank you to bank of Colorado, First Southwest Bank, Purgatory and the payroll department for sponsoring our Chamber Scholarships. And yes Durango rocks, comes back and goes virtual on April 28th at six o'clock. Register at our website durangobusiness.org. Find out all of the year awards everything from business, small business entrepreneur, non-profit and the other of the year awards. Again, that's all on April 28th. Clean day will happen on May 28th and also girls gone golfing will return on May 28th. So, look for that. Durango coolest pet contest returns this summer not sure when, but after the huge success of the coolest dog we will launch a coolest pet. So, all pets even goldfish can enter. Also upcoming, Chamber has leadership-la-plata applications being accepted right now. Go to durangobusiness.org, click on leadership-la-plata tab and you do need two letters of recommendation. Once you get those submit your application. And yes there's some homework before you have to submit the application but leadership will plot a truly as one of the best things I've ever done. We also have the young professionals of Durango. Liz Demko has done an outstanding job as the president for the yPods and they've launched the lunches with leaders' program and diplomats are looking for more members. So, we have a few openings. If you're interested contact Kim Euler at the Chamber and always remind everybody to Look Local First. Back in the dollar bill and all the gang mulla penny, everybody wants you to Look Local First. Coming up, Coffee at Home and you can soon check it out in a park near you. Lunch and Learns are around the corner. In fact our Lunch and Learn in May will be at the Botanical gardens over by the library. So, be sure and check that out. And I'm going to tease this Business After Hours. We haven't had a Business After Hours in almost a year and a half. Business After Hours will return summer of 2021. So, stay tuned for more details. If you want more information about the Chamber, go to durangobusiness.org. We're here to help. We're going to connect you to the right people. Thanks for tuning in and we'll be back next month with more Chamber Chat. And again I'm Jack Llewellyn, Executive Director Durango Chamber of Commerce. Have a great day.