What started as one local business wanting to thank its customers for their support has blossomed into a giveaway event spanning Valencia County with at least 50 locally-owned businesses.

Barbara Duerksen, the manager of Back to the Basics in Los Lunas, said she and her staff were talking about how small mom-and-pop businesses struggle to compete with large chains.

“I decided to do a social media giveaway for our store. Then I had the idea of seeing if another small business would go in with us and we could have three winners,” Duerksen said. “Then, being the over the top person that I am, I thought that it would be cool to get five businesses involved. Of course I couldn’t stop there.”

So far, Duerksen has convinced 50 locally-owned, small businesses to participate in a giveaway for goods and services to the residents of Valencia County.

“It wasn’t hard at all. I sent out some emails and really quickly people were responding, saying ‘This is amazing; I want to be a part of it,’” she said.

Community members can visit the businesses to enter the drawing for free, Duerksen said, with one entry per visit.

The drawings will be for a variety of items ranging from T-shirts and hats to products and services at some of the participating salons.

Some of the businesses participating in the giveaway offer services that don’t work well for a giveaway, such as realtors and attorneys, Duerksen said, so they will be giving away gift cards to other locally owned businesses.

Each business will draw one winner on the morning of Monday, Dec. 12, and the grand prize — five winners will receive an item or service from 10 businesses — will be drawn at 6 p.m. that same day.

The grand prize drawing will be on Facebook Live on the Back to the Basics page, as well as on the Valencia County Business Incubator’s page.

“Some of the businesses are going to go Live for their drawings. Every business will get a name and contact information from each person so they can either post the winners or give them a call to let them know they won,” she said.

With the response so positive this year, Duerksen said she wants to make the giveaway an annual event, hopefully getting hundreds of businesses to participate next year.

“This is just a way to give back to the people who kept the mom-and-pop shops in business, the ones who encouraged us to keep going through the pandemic,” she said. “It got really rough there for a while. We want to make people aware of the small businesses we have in Valencia County. There are a ton of them.”

For more information, visit the giveaway’s Facebook page, VC LOCO Local Business Giveaway.

Participating businesses:

  • Back to the Basics
  • Valencia County Business Incubator
  • Warrior Builders
  • Rocking JV Designs
  • Purple Sage Herb & Health
  • Wilma’s Wearable Arts
  • Double Cup Coffee
  • The Plug
  • Solis Custom Design
  • Shannon Clower, hairdresser
  • A Frame Coffee
  • Affordable RV Service
  • David Duerksen, Simply Real Estate
  • Wayne Hall Photography
  • Batteries Plus
  • Jordan Essentials by Patty
  • S&J Tires
  • H2 Academic Solutions
  • Chavez Family Coffee
  • Moments by Myda
  • Kramers Gifts
  • Good Golly Finds and Treasures
  • Hozhonutrition
  • City of Rio Communities
  • Village of Los Lunas
  • Auge’s Sales and Service
  • The Virtuous Soul
  • Misty’s Hair Salon
  • Amy Romero-Riley, Simply Real Estate
  • Goodfellas Pizza
  • Europa
  • Valencia Storage & MHP
  • Mad Macarons
  • Josiah’s Baked Goods
  • Bright Holdings, LLC
  • Sun of Justice Law Firm, LLC
  • GJS Website Development and More
  • La Lunas Craftworks, LLC
  • Loedi Silva, Realty 1 of New Mexico
  • Lomesh Majithia, EXP Realty
  • Family Work From Home
  • Goodfellas II Barber Shop
  • Clarissa Chavez-Rivera, Gerald Chavez Realty
  • Law Offices of Michael Sanchez
  • Inspired Relief
  • Las Office of Joel A. Davis
  • Shop with Sharon
  • Taylor Matsu Real Estate, EXP Realty
  • Kameo Rodriguez, Keller Williams Realty
  • Chiquita’s Jumpers for Less
What’s your Reaction?

Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.