Four entities located in Chaffee County have joined forces to establish the “Now This IS Love Auction” to support local businesses during the economic hardship resulting from the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Items will be up for bid and can be added to the auction until 5:00 p.m. April 4, with the auction planned to end at 6 p.m. April 4.
The Chaffee County Visitors Bureau along, the Salida Chamber of Commerce, the Salida Business Alliance, and Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce partnered to create an online auction and storefront on which Chaffee County businesses can offer gift cards and products online direct to consumers.
Items range from bags of coffee to jewelry, professional picture services and canvas paintings. The auction even has pet-friendly options and lodging deals. As of April 3, 266 items are currently hosted on the website.
The amount of money raised as of 1 p.m. April 3, to support local businesses: $80,545.90.
The auction website shares, “We have partnered to create an online auction and storefront for businesses in Chaffee County to sell gift cards, services and products online. In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Chaffee County is not open for tourism or leisure at this time. All nonessential services and lodging are closed. The health and safety of our community and guests are our top focus. We will invite you back soon … In the meantime, please support your favorite businesses by bidding and buying their gift cards, products and services through the online auction.”
Some of the items are up for bids, while others can simply be purchased now. The business owners that receive offers on the items they have up for sale will then reach out to the purchasers of those items and distribute them.
In the case of gift cards and punch cards for yoga classes, those items will become available or usable when social distancing requirements are not in place.
The webpage where the auction is hosted embodies a collaborative community, projecting the sentiment so many feel at this challenging time: “This auction is built on the love for our small businesses in Buena Vista, Salida and Poncha Springs. Unity is our greatest strength. Let’s be strong and support each other.”