Business Development

Apply to Temporarily Defer Sales Tax Payments

To help mitigate the economic effects of COVID-19, the City of Durango is allowing qualifying businesses to defer sales tax payments during the period the Emergency Declaration is in effect.

Payment of sales or use taxes for sales after March 1, 2020 and during the period the Emergency Declaration is in effect, may be deferred until 90 days after the month in which the Emergency Declaration is terminated. All taxes will need to be paid in full at that time. No interest or penalties will be imposed on deferred amounts that are paid when due. A business cannot defer more than $10,000 in sales or use taxes.

To qualify for the temporary deferral of the payment of City sales and use taxes, a business must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have a current business license issued by the City.
  • Is required to collect and remit sales and/or use taxes to the City under the provisions of the City Code.
  • Is not otherwise delinquent as of April 10, 2020 in any payment of sales or use taxes to the City and is not delinquent in filing any sales or use tax return due to the City.
  • Has a physical location or a substantial bona fide physical presence within the City during the entire period described for the deferral of sales and use taxes.
  • Had total gross sales subject to tax within the City of less than two million dollars ($2,000,000) during the twelve (12) month period ending on February 29, 2020.

Interested businesses must fill out the Temporary Sales Tax Deferral Application and submit completed forms to Finance@DurangoGov.org. For more information, please call (970) 375-5000.

City Allowing More Outdoor Space for Businesses

The City of Durango has announced that regulations governing on-site parking requirements will be temporarily relaxed to help facilitate outdoor business transactions. An Order signed by Interim City Manager Amber Blake allows businesses to use up to 25 percent of their required on-site parking spaces for seating, merchandise display and conducting transactions with customers. Businesses must continue to abide by state and local orders governing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are also required to complete San Juan Basin Public Health’s self-certification form to ensure proper social distancing practices are in place.

More information can be found here: Order 2020-06 On-Site Parking

COVID-19 Temporary Signage

Interim City Manager Amber Blake signed into order the temporary relaxation of regulations governing signage, such as banners, teardrop banners and sandwich boards, to allow local businesses which are lawfully in operation to advertise their services. Local businesses are encouraged to use additional signage to draw customers while continuing to abide by state and local orders governing business operations and social distancing practices.  For more details, please review the following:

COVID-19 Information

In response to the Coronavirus emergency, physical visits to the Community Development office at River City Hall have been suspended until further notice. We will continue accepting and processing applications for permits and development approvals, but all application submittals must be done digitally.

Starting on July 27, 2020, Community Development staff will be ending furloughs and will be able to serve the public 5-days a week again.

Business Resources

The City of Durango is working closely with local, state, and federal partners to provide accurate information on COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of our community.  The Community Development Department understands the widespread impact and disruptions COVID-19 is having on Durango businesses.  We are committed to helping our local businesses and employees mitigate the economic harm during these challenging times.  

To respond to rapidly evolving public health guidelines regarding COVID-19, physical visits to the Community Development Department is suspended until at least May 11thPlease contact Business Development Coordinator Alex Rugoff at (970) 375-4855 or Alex.rugoff@durangogov.org with any questions.

Below is a list of resources for businesses affected by COVID-19. This is a rapidly evolving list and we will continually update these resources:

Regional Resources:

  • City utility bill late fees to be waived
    • The City of Durango is instituting a moratorium on service disconnection for Water and Sewer during the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration. City water, sewer, trash and recycling service will continue, and late fees will be waived on city utility bills for through April 30, 2020. The City will work with customers on payment plan options for those who may find themselves unable to pay their bills in full during this time of difficulty. To discuss payment options, please call Customer Service at 970-375-5034.
  • Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance
    • SWCODA is a repository of resources and information that shares the many ways people can get assistance during this time, and how individuals and businesses can get involved and help.
    • A major function of SWCODA is to raise awareness and assist with fundraising efforts for the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). This fund is set up for broad-based community emergencies in Southwest Colorado. CERF is actively fundraising for consequences directly related to the COVID-19 public health crisis in Southwest Colorado.
  • Business Improvement District
    • Find out more about the BID’s various initiatives to support local businesses affected by COVID-19.
  • Durango Chamber of Commerce
  • Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado
    • Learn more about applying for Region 9’s Disaster Assistance Loan Program which provides low cost loans up to $10,000 to help cover essential businesses expenses. 
  • La Plata County Economic Development Alliance
  • Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center
    • At no charge, the SBDC can provide you consulting and assistance to help your business devise a plan to navigate through these difficult times.
    • Call the Small Business COVID-19 Disaster Response Hotline - (303) 860-5881 - for more questions about federal, state, and local assistance programs and licensing requirements.

State of Colorado Resources:

Federal Resources:

  • Small Business Administration
    • Small Businesses throughout Colorado are eligible to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Disaster Loans.  The SBA offers up to $2 million in low-interest loans to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate the economic injury caused by COVID-19.  Click here to learn more and apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
    • The SBA Express Bridge Loan provides small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork and a faster timeline
  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Click here for the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • IRS
    • The Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

Business Loan Application Links:



Business Development

The City of Durango has two grants available for both businesses and property owners within areas that have adopted character district plans:

Durango is an excellent place to open, grow, and expand your business. The City of Durango is pleased to provide information to help your business succeed!

-  Alex Rugoff, Business Development and Redevelopment Coordinator