By Mary Jo Coulehan
Pagosa Springs Area
Chamber of Commerce
Pagosa Springs needs to continue to watch small gatherings. We are hoping that Archuleta County will continue to monitor our exposure and continue safe protocols all throughout the county in our businesses and public spaces.
With a hopeful prognosis for the community, the Chamber is moving forward with scheduling our 2021 Business After Hours (BAH).
At this time, we have available BAH slots for the months of February, June and/or July and December. Businesses that were scheduled to have a BAH in 2020 were given first priority to rebook their event for 2021. Those that canceled or had a BAH in 2020 opened up slots in 2021.
We are encouraging businesses that are new Chamber members or even new businesses to host a BAH in 2021. You must be a Chamber member to host this type of event. These new Chamber member businesses will be given first priority to host a BAH.
Second priority will be given to those businesses who have never hosted a BAH previously. Except for these guidelines, the BAH selections are conducted through the lottery system. The lottery will be held at the beginning of November after all the requests are processed. BAH are great networking events that introduce people to the location and products or services that you have to offer.
Here is a brief guideline of what it will take to host a BAH in 2021. We want to make sure first that a business has the size or space to host the event. If it is a winter month, outside use of space is limited, so the business must have a space large enough to host approximately 30-40 people. The business provides the food and the Chamber provides the beverages. All food must be served, even if a buffet is offered. There is no self-service allowed at this time per the state guidelines. A business could also pre-plate appetizer options for the attendees.
Businesses need to make sure there is distancing in effect and room for smaller groups to congregate. If the BAH is held during a month conducive to outside gathering, this is a great way to space the event out. Another option is to partner with a neighboring Chamber member business or businesses and have a “block party.” In this way, several businesses can gain exposure and the event has even more room to spread out.
Upon registration at the event, the Chamber will add some additional safety measures for our attendees such as hand sanitizer upon entering and masking unless eating or drinking. While we want to move forward with integrating some socializing, we also want to make sure that we adhere to state health guidelines and follow protocols to keep the health of our community a priority. We feel that protocols can be managed and, at this time, smaller events can be held.
If you are interested in hosting a BAH in 2021, call Rick Artis, membership coordinator at 264-2360 or go to the Chamber website, www.pagosachamber.com, and download an application. Applications are due Friday, Oct. 30. Let’s plan carefully and move ahead.
Masks still available to obtain or to sew
Thanks to the many volunteer hours that were committed to sewing masks these past months, the Chamber still has a selection of masks available to business community for free. Businesses are welcome to come by and select masks for their employees or to give out at their business. The Visitor Center also has Pagosa Springs-logoed bandannas available in limited quantities. Please call and reserve some masks or come by our offices and pick up a batch.
We also still have mask kits to be sewn. If you took a break from sewing and may have less outdoor activities planned for the near future, we could certainly use your help in getting more masks sewn. The bias tape and material are provided, along with instructions. We make these masks available to our business community and guests for free. If you are interested in sewing some masks, please contact Mary Jo at 264-2360. Thank you, Pagosa Springs sewing community and individuals.