Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Economic Recovery Council cheered the passage of House Bill 11, which will make $200 million in grants available to small businesses in New Mexico.
“This is great news. This will be a lifeline for small businesses and the jobs they provide throughout New Mexico,” said Council Chairwoman Christina Campos.
Sponsored by Speaker Brian Egolf and Rep. Christine Chandler, HB 11 provides $200 million in grants through the state LEDA program to support New Mexico businesses in hiring or rehiring employees. Each business may qualify for up to $100,000 to be distributed in four quarterly payments.
The applications and payments to businesses through the program will be managed by the New Mexico Finance Authority at nmfinance.com. A formal announcement will be made when the application portal is open for HB 11 grants.
Business owners who accept assistance will be required to rehire workers or hire new employees. Businesses, which must be operating in New Mexico with fewer than 75 employees per location, can use the funding to make current or back payments for rent, lease and mortgages.
The Council earlier this year endorsed the idea and made other recommendations to spur recovery from the pandemic and future economic development in its Roadmap to Recovery report. It is also supporting the following bills:
- Senate Bill 3, the Small Business Recovery Act, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria and Rep. Marian Matthews. The bill would make up to $500 million available to extend the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund created by the Legislature last year. New provisions would expand eligibility and provide more attractive terms for borrowers. This bill would fix some of the shortcomings of the current program and allow it to help more businesses.
- House Bill 267, introduced by Representatives Meredith Dixon, Candie Sweetser, and Antonio Maestas, and Senators Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales and William Burt, to provide a special appropriation of $45 million to the New Mexico Tourism Department. The appropriation would be used to help revitalize the hard-hit industry through promotion, technical assistance and workforce development.
- Council members are urging the Legislature to heed the governor’s call to set aside half of this year’s capital outlay funds—more than $200 million—to expand broadband access in New Mexico. As much as 20 percent of the state’s homes and businesses do not now have access to broadband.
The Economic Recovery Council continues to research new ideas for economic relief and recovery and welcomes input from the public.
The Roadmap to Recovery report can be found online here.