“Shop in Utah” Lifeline

For the first time ever, Twin Rocks Trading Post and twinrocks.com will be offering a 30 percent discount off the listed retail price of all arts and crafts from local artists. These deductions will be good until the end of the year.

Our current difficulties and the federal government’s efforts to save small businesses have made this possible. Here is the reason why:

The look on her face worried me. News of the COVID-19 pandemic had just recently arrived in Bluff, and everyone was frightened. Not just of the virus, but also the economic devastation trailing not far behind.

How were we going to manage the health, safety, and financial issues brought on by this illness? Nobody knew, nobody even understood what questions to ask.

Jessie had come into the trading post with Navajo folk art to sell. Unfortunately, we, like many others, realized the available resources had to be shepherded and the checkbook was locked down.

“Nobody is buying,” she said, her voice cracking.

“Yes, I know,” I replied.

“This is going to be bad.”

That was March of this year, and memories of the 2008 Great Recession were still fresh. Many of us were just recovering from its effects and feeling comfortable about undertaking new ventures. That crisis was hard on artists; this one looked to be catastrophic.

As the months dragged on, I have continuously worried about artists like Jessie, wondering how they can sustain themselves when their primary source of income vanished overnight.

Of course, ours had as well, but we have alternatives not available to most craftspeople. We could wait this one out; they couldn’t.

Help would be needed, and it didn’t look like any was immediately forthcoming.

For the basket makers, rug weavers, folk carvers, silversmiths, and others we had seen on an almost daily basis, this was looking like a matter of survival.

Rick, Priscilla, and I schemed to support some of the artists, but we knew we could not possibly help them all. Then the federal government signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act into law, and money began to flow to small businesses like Twin Rocks Trading Post.

Our first grant application to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), which was a conduit for federal CARES funding, was to address hunger relief for local families.

That “Shop in Utah” grant involved partnering with St. Christopher’s Mission and Whitehorse High School and has so far provided over 10,000 meals to hungry individuals.

Having set hunger relief in motion, we are now working on assistance to local artists. Twin Rocks Trading Post has always had a close association with Southwest art and artists, so this was a natural for us.

When the second round of “Shop in Utah” grants was announced by GOED, we devised a plan to offer our customers a 30 percent discount on all retail items in the trading post.

The grant money would replace the revenue associated with the discount and that funding would be reallocated to purchase art by local artists. It seems a little complicated, but it’s not really.

It works like this: If an item carries a retail price of $100, the customer can purchase it for $70. The $30 discount is reimbursed by the “Shop in Utah” grant, and Twin Rocks allocates that same $30 rebate to buy local art. Everybody wins.

So, here is the good news: Beginning October 15, 2020 and concluding December 31, 2020, by purchasing art from Twin Rocks Trading Post, you are entitled to a 30 percent discount off the retail price.

In addition to the deduction, you will be helping not only keep art and artists alive and working, but hopefully will also stimulate new and innovative avenues of artistic expression.

No longer will Jessie and her fellow artists have to be told, “Sorry, we simply cannot buy your work.”

So, call, write, send a smoke signal. We are here to help you help local artists. There is no time to waste.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday