Purgatory Resort and the Coleman Charitable Foundation raised $60,000 during its first season pass sales for the coming ski season to fund a program to help small businesses hurt by COVID-19.
The resort will partner with the Durango Chamber of Commerce, which will administer the program and provide the aid to small businesses.
“We are honored and humbled as the recipient of Purgatory and CCF’s generous donation. It could not come at a better time with so many impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jack Llewellyn, the chamber’s executive director. “This will help fund numerous chamber projects as we continue to serve our business community and members.”
The chamber, which has about 800 members, will form a subcommittee to determine the disbursement of money.
Funds will be used to assist the chamber in its mission to provide education, communication, financial viability information and other support to businesses in La Plata County.
Some proposed uses for the money include creating free educational programs and offering scholarships to cover chamber membership for businesses hard hit by the novel coronavirus.
“I look forward to exploring ways we can assist the greatest number of businesses helping them recover from the pandemic,” Llewellyn said. “My hope is being able to offer educational programs to larger numbers of businesses.”
Some examples of educational topics for chamber workshops that might be funded by the donation include: social media use; financial planning in a business-unusual environment; health and safety for employees and their families; COVID-19 liabilities; writing resumes; and hosting virtual events.
“COVID-19 has created new challenges for everyone, including all of us at Purgatory,” said Dave Rathbun, general manager of Purgatory Resort. “Because we concentrate on having a direct and meaningful impact in our community, it was important for us to find a way to show our support to the local businesses during these difficult times.”
Coleman Charitable Foundation, established in 2013, is a 501(c)(3) organization to help people principally in the Southwest. A special emphasis of the foundation has been helping women and children struggling with homelessness.