New Mexico Economic Development in 2020 and Looking Forward

From global manufacturing and biosciences, to outdoor recreation and film production, the Economic Development Department (EDD) set the foundation for long-term job growth in 2020, putting New Mexico on the path to sustainable recovery, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said today.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the public health emergency brought unprecedented challenges to small businesses, employees, and the overall economy. But EDD moved quickly in 2020 to assist businesses with direct economic assistance to train or hire new workers, acquire land, and expand infrastructure. The initiatives will boost growth and hiring in the coming year.

“In 2019 we created the most new jobs in New Mexico in more than a decade,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “And in 2021 we will beat back the pandemic and regain our momentum toward a thriving and diversified state economy, with opportunity for all. We are going to make certain New Mexico is positioned to keep building — and building back better than ever before — in a post-pandemic world.”

“The Economic Development Department is moving New Mexico forward with strategic investments in business expansion and job growth that sets the state on the path toward a sustainable recovery in 2021,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “Now is not the time to pull back on economic investments. We need to support businesses and industries that offer higher wages, economic diversification, and better opportunities for New Mexico’s families.”

EDD has also been working diligently to keep the public informed about existing financial assistance programs. They have been publishing a weekly newsletter that lists economic assistance resources for communities and businesses, and have hosted over 30 webinars since the start of the pandemic in March.


EDD is emphasizing the nationally recognized Job Training Incentive Program as one of its signature programs that is assisting businesses as they create jobs for new workers or advance skills of existing employees. In 2020, JTIP pledged training reimbursements to 75 businesses across New Mexico in support of 2,380 jobs – 29% of that total for rural jobs and 71% for urban. The average wage in 2020 was $18.61 an hour, over $38,000 annually.

JTIP grants went to firms in Albuquerque, Church Rock, Clovis, Roswell, Sunland Park, Loving, Los Alamos, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Moriarty, Las Vegas, Corrales, Truth or Consequences, Taos, and Deming.


In 2020, EDD’s LEDA job-creators fund made strategic investments in 18 companies that will create 2,500 jobs over the next several years.

These companies have committed to invest over $761 million in New Mexico over the next 10 years with $150 million in new payroll.


The growth of the film and television production industry remains an important economic driver for New Mexico as the state looks to diversify its economy.

In January, New Mexico started out the year strong with two of our cities named in MovieMaker Magazine’s for “Best Places to Live and Work As A MovieMaker”. Albuquerque was ranked #1 for large cities for the second year in a row, beating out places like Atlanta and LA, and Santa Fe was ranked #3 for small cities and towns.

In March, New Mexico was cast as host of Deadline Hollywood’s inaugural HotSpots conference, where they shine a spotlight on locations outside of Hollywood. Deadline, a premier industry trade publication for the film industry, brought industry professionals and decision-makers from across the country to experience all that New Mexico has to offer as a film and television production hub.

In November, Netflix announced it was expanding its footprint at Albuquerque Studios to develop the largest sustainable production studio in North America. The commitment includes an additional $1 billion in production spend over 10 years, an additional 1,000 production jobs, and construction of to 10 new stages, post-production services, production offices, mills, backlots, training facilities, wardrobe suites, a commissary, and other flex buildings to support their growing number of productions in New Mexico.

Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said, “New Mexico provides an outstanding production and business environment in close proximity to Los Angeles with some of the best crews and creative talent in the world. The expansion will bring many new high-tech and production jobs to the region. It allows us to be more nimble in executing our production plans while cementing the status of the region as one of the leading production centers in North America.”

“News of the World,” the Netflix-produced film starring Tom Hanks and filmed in New Mexico, was released on Dec. 25, 2020 and is already bringing new recognition to the state for our commitment to the industry as well as the talented crews and scenic landscapes that make the film a success.


2020 also marked the first full year of operations for the Outdoor Recreation Division (ORD), signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in April, 2019.

The new outdoor recreation infrastructure grants are being used to invest in trails and outdoor infrastructure to help communities attract visitors in a responsible way. The grants are helping outdoor program managers and non-profits create or expand programs to inspire young people to both enjoy the outdoors and respect it.

The office also invested in start-ups by teaching new outdoor entrepreneurs how to start or grow their businesses. This is creating jobs within the outdoor recreation industry that is far outpacing the national average. The Enterprise Center, a state certified business incubator at San Juan College, helped launch four new outdoor recreation businesses with 12 new employees and $260,000 in wages.

ORD also awarded the first Outdoor Equity Fund grants to 25 applicants. Included in that group are three Native organizations / tribal governments (NACA, Zuni Pueblo, and Karuna Colectiva) that will get 449 Indigenous youth outside within the next year.

Made outside of the normal grant cycle as an emergency COVID-19 response to the urgent needs of the community, a grant was also awarded to the Gallup-based nonprofit, Silver Stallion, for creating a Mobile Ride Center — a mobile bike shop to travel the Navajo Nation and repair kids’ bikes.

Netflix Plans to Boost New Mexico Presence with Expansion of ABQ Studios

Pledges $1 Billion Investment and Additional 1,000 Jobs

Today, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller together with Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos announced that Netflix, the world’s leading internet entertainment service, plans to boost its presence in the state by expanding ABQ Studios and committing to an additional $1 billion in production spend. The expansion will add 300 acres to the company’s existing space at ABQ Studios, located in Albuquerque’s Mesa Del Sol area, making it one of the largest high-tech and sustainable film production facilities in North America. The investment will result in the creation of an estimated 1,000 production jobs in New Mexico over the next ten years. An additional 1,467 construction jobs will be also created to complete the expansion.

“Ever since Netflix first chose New Mexico, they have been nothing but an incredible partner, pushing the boundaries of innovation and expansion while providing fulfilling work opportunities for so many New Mexicans,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “My administration has expanded our state’s competitive film incentives, facilitating higher-wage employment for New Mexicans all across the state, and increased opportunities for rural communities. I am glad Netflix has chosen to double-down on its commitment to our state, and our partnership will continue to grow for the benefit of New Mexicans across the board.”

Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said, “New Mexico provides an outstanding production and business environment in close proximity to Los Angeles with some of the best crews and creative talent in the world. The expansion will bring many new high-tech and production jobs to the region. It allows us to be more nimble in executing our production plans while cementing the status of the region as one of the leading production centers in North America.”

As part of the proposed expansion and Netflix’s commitment to job creation associated with an additional $1 billion in production spend and $150 million in capital expenditures, the company will add up to ten new stages, post-production services, production offices, mills, backlots, and training facilities, wardrobe suites, a commissary to support meals and craft services, and other flex buildings to support productions.

The State of New Mexico will provide up to $17 million in State LEDA funding and the City of Albuquerque will commit up to $7 million in local LEDA funding, including $6 million in infrastructure in-kind. In addition, the City of Albuquerque will issue an Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB) to partially abate property and other taxes over a 20-year term for the first $500 million investment by Netflix to build out the production facility. In addition to the private land acquisition of approximately 170 acres, Netflix will also lease approximately 130 acres from the State Land Office for a total of 300 additional acres. All funding is pending the approval of the Albuquerque Development Commission and the Albuquerque City Council. If approved, funding will be disbursed according to benchmarks set out in the Public Participation Agreement.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said, “When we brought Netflix to Albuquerque, we put the spotlight on our city’s strong film economy and joined our brand to the one of the top companies in the new global economy. Now, with this expansion we’re looking forward to doubling the impact to 2,000 jobs for folks from all walks of life and a $2 billion investment into Albuquerque’s economy over the next decade. Between Netflix and the likely Orion Project, the Duke City is looking at the very real possibility of a transformative ‘new economy,’ redefining our workforce with aerospace and film jobs.”

“The State Land Office exists to leverage state trust land in order to raise funds for our public schools, hospitals, and universities – and we couldn’t be more thrilled to add Netflix to the family of businesses that help us keep New Mexico moving forward,” said Stephanie Garcia Richard, Commissioner of New Mexico State Land Office. “Netflix’s expansion to state trust land is great news for our state. Because of this partnership, New Mexico will benefit from new jobs and more revenue flowing into communities that become filming locations. Netflix has already been delivering on those promises, but by moving onto state trust land, an estimated $24 million will be going to the University of New Mexico – the beneficiary of the state trust land onto which they will expand their studios.”

The growth of the film and television industry has been a steady driver of economic development in New Mexico over the last two decades. In 2003, direct spend in New Mexico was $7 million. In fiscal year 2019, it reached a record high of $525.5 million.

Alicia J. Keyes, New Mexico Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary said, “This expansion is the result of an incredible partnership with Netflix that will set a precedent in the industry and signal that New Mexico is the place to be for film and television production. Not only will there be an additional 1,000 high-paying jobs for New Mexicans, plus an estimated $2.5 billion that will benefit New Mexico’s economy, but we are setting the stage for future generations to stay in our state and have employment opportunities with one of the world’s leading global digital media companies.”

As part of the proposed investment in the region, and in an effort to continue to grow and scale up the crew base and talent pool, Netflix has committed to provide training programs for below-the-line positions in partnership with the New Mexico Film Office, local universities, and labor and industry organizations. Additionally, in partnership with the New Mexico Film Office, Netflix has committed to supporting New Mexico’s Native American, Latino, Black, and other underrepresented groups’ content creators and filmmakers.

In 2018, Netflix, along with State of New Mexico and City of Albuquerque officials, announced the purchase of Albuquerque Studios, the first production hub purchased by Netflix in the United States. Since 2018, Netflix has spent more than $200 million in the state, utilized more than 2,000 production vendors, and hired over 1,600 cast and crew members.

Netflix is currently in production in New Mexico on the original films The Harder They Fall and Intrusion and is expected to soon begin filming Stranger Things 4 in Albuquerque. Since 2018, Netflix productions filmed in New Mexico include Army of the DeadEl CaminoGodlessDaybreakChambers and Messiah.

The project will be reviewed by the Mesa del Sol TIDD Board and Albuquerque Development Commission on November 23, 2020 and then reviewed by Albuquerque City Council on December 7, 2020.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with over 195 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause, and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.


Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Women in Business this Month

The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce hosts the 5th Annual Women’s Leadership Luncheon this month. The virtual event will gather, support, and celebrate New Mexico’s inspiring women entrepreneurs throughout November. The remarkably apt theme this year is agility.

The combined weight of personal and professional challenges during the pandemic has fallen especially heavily on the shoulders of women. Women have experienced job losses at a higher rate than men during 2020. “Women-owned businesses are also struggling,” writes Albuquerque Business First Associate Editor Julian Vadnais “According to a survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the number of female business owners who ranked their business’ overall health as “good” fell by 13 percentage points from 60% in January to 47% in July.”

Despite the obstacles, however, “women have been incredibly innovative and resilient,” says Chamber President and CEO Bridget Dixon. “Women in general are resilient. We learn to pivot, manage expectations, and adapt. We at the Chamber have had to do that with our events. Some of the women who will be panelists and speakers have needed to be agile their entire lives. We think that the whole community can really resonate with that right now. How do you make face hardship and make changes with a positive mindset?”

Registration is open now. Sessions begin Wednesday, Nov 4. Lunches are provided by women owned restaurants and women owned businesses will be spotlighted throughout the month. Expect the same networking and mentorship opportunities from the extended, virtual version as from the in-person event, with more flexible scheduling. Click here for more information and registration.

In an interview series, we speak with Dixson and Events Programmer Katie Capener about the event, women in entrepreneurship, supporting local businesses, and more.


SGA: Please tell us about this year’s event!

Bridget Dixson:  The Women’s Leadership Luncheon is an idea that we came up with five years ago. There was a Forbes article pointing out that Santa Fe had more women entrepreneurs than anywhere else in the country. That is such a testament to our community. I think this is partly because we’re so welcoming to new ideas here. People can try really creative ideas and be successful in Santa Fe.

The conversation at these events centers around women’s lives and leadership, mentorship, and how they’re able to build a balanced home and work life. That’s something we need now more than ever, not just women, but men as well. This year, we’ve all had to find agility and work-life balance, especially if you have young children at home.

SGA: How will the event be structured this year?

Katie Capener: While this year’s event is virtual, we will absolutely foster engaging, inspiring, and candid conversation. We have an incredible lineup for the entire month, starting with Monique Jacobson this upcoming Wednesday. [Among many other things, Jacobson transformed tourism in New Mexico during her time as Director of the state’s tourism department.]

There are three consecutive Power Up Lunches every Wednesday, November 4, 11, and 18, leading up to the culminating Women’s Leadership Luncheon on November 19. People love this event for making connections, meeting people, mentors, and colleagues, and sharing meaningful conversations. We’re excited to virtually recreate the event’s essence and value and even expand our reach.

You can participate in one-day Wednesday sessions individually, the luncheon individually, or you can purchase it all together. The virtual format creates so much flexibility it actually allows us to do more for participants.


Stay tuned this week for more about the event, how women are exemplifying agility, and the­ inspiring Santa Fe business community!



Job Training Incentive Program Helps NM Companies Expand

The September awards totaled $3.6 million for 672 trainees and 1 intern, with another $1.9 million for 129 trainees and 1 intern awarded in October. Average salaries for trainees ranged from $11.62 to $69.71 per hour, with companies located throughout New Mexico, including Albuquerque, Deming, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sunland Park, Taos, and Truth or Consequences.

“The recent job-training grants show that businesses from Taos to Deming are looking to create good jobs in all corners of the state,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “My Administration will continue to do everything possible to support businesses who want to hire workers or promote employees into higher-paying jobs so we can have a long-lasting recovery that benefits New Mexico families.”

The JTIP program is instrumental in attracting and retaining businesses in New Mexico. It’s reimbursement for training new employees and employees who wish to improve their current job position is a driving force for expansion of local employment. The robust program recently earned New Mexico a Top 10 spot on site selector Business Facilities‘ 16th Annual State Rankings Report.

“JTIP is supporting new jobs in timber, meat processing, energy, robotics, food manufacturing, software, and satellites,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “These are the diverse industries that are growing and expanding in New Mexico with help from JTIP and other economic incentives. This is one way the state and lawmakers can help businesses grow and create jobs in uncertain economic times.”

If you’re thinking of expanding or making a new move, New Mexico is a great place to buy a business! Learn more about opportunities to own a business here and contact us for more info.

Challenge and Opportunity in Online Customer Experience

A recent study by Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retailing Center and WisePlum suggests rising consumer frustration with retail as shopping shifts online. The survey-based study, “The New Reality: Understanding the Retail Consumer Experience During a Pandemic,” finds mounting customer impatience and decreased loyalty. In a Knowledge@Wharton interview, the study’s co-author, Marketing Professor Thomas Robertson, says these findings are related to underprepared online shopping and loyalty program customer experience and the tech that underpins it.

The Challenge

We have written before about the importance of (and some ways to) deepen customer relations during this time. But Robertson raises an excellent point. “Loyalty programs will not compensate for poor service or a poor product. They will just add cost,” he says. “You have to have the IT in place. Point of sales data, for example, has to be in place for you to be able to use loyalty programs. And if you’re transitioning to online, you have to be ready for it. You have to design integrated online-offline programs.”

As health concerns ferry more and more commerce online, customers’ expectations for a positive virtual shopping experience are on the rise. But businesses have struggled to meet these expectation.

“It’s about a 10% increase in problems from before the pandemic to the middle of May, with some decrease in loyalty. And there is a difference,” says Robertson. “Before, when consumers had problems, the focus was in-store. They would have problems not being able to find things, or they would complain about the messiness of stores or that the salespeople were not helpful. As we got to May, all of this had changed, and what people were now sensitive about was having to pay for shipping to return things, that you needed a receipt to return things, and that the website was difficult to navigate. This seemed to suggest that as the percentage of online sales was going up, many retailers weren’t quite ready for the onslaught and had some trouble coping with it.”

The Opportunity

The takeaway, according to Robertson? “Service recovery is absolutely critical.”

There are some significant bright sides to this story. By smoothing out kinks in your online systems, you can really differentiate your business. There is also a tremendous opportunity in “transforming disappointment into delight.”

In Creating Great Online Customer Experience, a compilation of research by MIT Sloan Management Review (available for download here), Stefan Thomke writes about creating the kind of customer experience that stays with someone:

“When employees are taught to be in tune with the customer’s emotions, they can notice changes in emotional state and respond quickly. As their alacrity accelerates the shift from disappointment to delight, the intervention creates a sudden contrast that makes experiences sticky.  Magicians, who constantly think about the audience experience, understand the emotional value of rapid shifts from disappointment and confusion to happy resolution. They have developed techniques to change people’s emotional states. Momentary disappointment at failure to “catch” the magician quickly transforms into delight in his excellence. Disappointment to delight: Magicians know that this emotional transition will wow audiences more than a constant flow of technically perfect tricks. The former creates memorable moments, while the latter may cause eyes to glaze over.”

In upcoming posts, we’ll share more tips on online customer experience. Stay tuned!

Albuquerque’s Vibrant Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Hosts ESHIP 2020

This month, Albuquerque is hosting the 2020 ESHIP Summit, a gathering of “entrepreneurial ecosystem builders – leaders connecting communities together to accelerate entrepreneurship – who seek to build more inclusive, sustainable local economies.” This systems approach to fostering economic vibrancy connects people, resources, and institutions to foster collaborative growth and innovation.

“During the ESHIP Summit, we are featuring a round table of five ecosystem leaders from Albuquerque to tell the story of the development of the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem over the last 10 years,” said Andy Stoll, senior program officer of entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “We looked across the country to see what cities we saw that have demonstrated a long-term, cross-sector commitment to entrepreneurship. We believe Albuquerque is an exemplary story of a community undertaking collaborative and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem building efforts.”

“While the pandemic has revealed many cracks in the system across the nation, here in Albuquerque it has also revealed our strengths. We have been in this fight together and we will recover together, as a united community building an economy that works for everyone. We have put millions of dollars directly in the hands of local businesses to help them through the pandemic,” said Mayor Keller. “The partnership program we are implementing with assistance from the National League of Cities is a strategic step toward making sure our city emerges from COVID with an economy that’s even more robust, inclusive, and representative of Albuquerque than when the pandemic started.”

“The City of Albuquerque is honored to be recognized by Kauffman for our past and current efforts to build a vibrant small business community that can serve as a model for cities around the world,” said Synthia Jaramillo, Director of the City’s Economic Development Department. “But we are equally eager to come away from these events with new ideas for shared growth and prosperity across our city, all through the lens of equity and inclusion.”

If you are interesting in joining this flourishing community of entrepreneurs, we can help! Check out these opportunities to buy an Albuquerque business and contact us to learn more.

Resilient Albuquerque Businesses Adapt and Thrive

Congratulations to Albuquerque small businesses! According to a recent study conducted by e-commerce company Square, Albuquerque’s Main Street businesses ranked Number 1 in increased rate of e-commerce adoption following the COVID-19 outbreak. The ranking signals Albuquerque businesses’ agility and grit.

“We’re inspired every day by the ingenuity of small businesses in the face of a rapidly evolving environment,” writes Square. “They’re pivoting business models, building online operations in days, and even selling completely new products to stay ahead.”

Albuquerque businesses saw an 800% increase in online sales. The study’s methodology states, “Increase in adoption is defined by the percent increase in sellers who took their first payment using Square Online Store during the given time period (January/February vs. March/April).”

“It represents resilience,” says David Rusenko, Square’s general manager of e-commerce in the Albuquerque Journal. “It shows that the Albuquerque business community exhibits significant nimbleness and resourcefulness when forced to adapt to new situations. When faced with the challenge (of the economic crisis), Albuquerque was the city where businesses stepped up to the challenge and did so at the highest rate, more so than any other city. People just didn’t roll over.”

“Upgrading to an online presence doesn’t mean eliminating brick-and-mortar operations; it supplements a brick-and-mortar and gives customers more options and more flexibility at a time of uncertainty,” he adds.

In the same article, City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department Director Synthia Jaramillo writes,

Mayor Tim Keller and the city of Albuquerque Economic Development Department leapt to action to support small businesses in March as COVID-19 began to majorly impact the operations of small businesses. EDD immediately developed and deployed the Micro-Business Relief Program, providing a diverse array of 150 qualifying micro-businesses with working capital grants of $5,000 each. Also, utilizing $200,000 in funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the city has been making grants available to restaurants, breweries and food trucks to support the set-up and operation of outdoor dining options, and it waived permitting and inspection fees for building out patios.

We’ve written before about Albuquerque’s tremendous entrepreneurship scene. If you would like to join this inspiring community of business owners, we can help! Check out these businesses for sale and contact us for more information how to buy a business in thriving Albuquerque.

Family Businesses – Resilience and Legacy

A recent white paper by Deloitte explores strengths intrinsic to family business that may give these enterprises a relative advantage during this unusual year. Interestingly, the subject of business culture is once again comes into focus. “Alongside the millions of healthcare professionals and volunteers, some family businesses are being branded as ‘heroes’ by their local and national communities in the current crisis,” the paper states. “This often comes down to the family values that have been instilled for generations across the business, in family members and employees, and then ultimately imparted to customers. It is these inherent values and solid organizational purpose that can secure loyalty far beyond the crisis.”

The paper also points out that this may be the perfect time to elevate the involvement of the next generation in your business’ succession plan. The up-and-coming entrepreneurs of the family may be “readily available “extra pair of hands” in a time when resources are either scarce or not available, as well as a valuable sounding board or source of fresh ideas.” Digital natives, they might also be poised to lead new and innovative efforts during a time when digital interfacing with clients and vendors is increasingly vital. “Not only does this give the next generation a chance to prove themselves, but their active engagement in the business at this time could be the difference between success or failure.

While resilience and core values are often inherent in family businesses, family tensions may also be built in. Generational differences in vision or priorities can be tricky to navigate. The current crisis has led many older business owners to weigh risks to their health and safety alongside normal cost-benefit considerations of doing business.  If you find yourself in this position, it may well be that now is the right time to officially pass the baton to your next-in-line.

Even when the sale is to a trusted family member who has grown up with the business, selling a family business can amplify all of the tensions that go along with running one. You may discover that the sale could be very disruptive for you personally.  All too often, people fail to recognize the emotional and mental stress that comes along with selling a business.  Many owners begin the selling process only to discover that they are not emotionally ready to do so.  While everyone wants to be unemotional in making their business decisions, this is not always the case.

For help navigating the challenges that come with this opportunity, contact us!

See the Deloitte infographic below for insights. Deloitte will be publishing a series of articles on this subject in the coming weeks. If this feels close to home, stay tuned!

Moving to New Mexico

A recent Wall Street Journal article raises the questions, where do you want to live, and why? As work life shifts to remote models, the need to live near hot job markets is challenged. People are reassessing living situations and moving to places that make them happy, both for improved quality of life and ability to save money.

“At one point in April people were relocating at twice the normal pace, according to data from Cuebiq,” writes Ben Eisen.

If you are among the many people seeking a change of scene, consider New Mexico! Beautiful mountains, fresh air, and stunning skyscapes (not to mention strong economic incentives) could be calling you home.

Albuquerque was recently ranked America’s ninth most affordable city by The city’s low cost of living contributes to its also being ranked one of the top five cities in which to build wealth by pay experts

Albuquerque also ranks in the top ten large-size metro areas in the country for economic development potential, according to site selector publication Business Facilities. “‘Albuquerque has a foothold in very high-tech industries,’ including renewable energies, photonics, and information technology,’ said Business Facilities’ Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. ‘We think the up arrow is going to stay for a while.

Santa Fe was voted one of the Best Small Cities in the U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards last year. “There is a lot of sameness in cities around the world,” says Santa Fe mayor Alan Webber. “We remain unique.”

Learn about opportunities to own a business in beautiful New Mexico. We’re here to help!





New PPP Guidelines and Deadlines

The New Mexico Economic Development Department released this statement today concerning new guidelines and deadlines for Paycheck Protection Program loans:
Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced that new forgiveness and flexibility rules for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will benefit more New Mexico businesses and she is urging those who have not yet applied to take another look at the program.
With the PPP deadline for loan funding on June 30, there are just a few days left for businesses still interested to receive funding from private lenders who are partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
As of this week, there is $129 billion left for PPP lending. The new forgiveness guidelines were presented by SBA leaders in New Mexico as part of an EDD webinar on June 17.
With the new PPP Flexibility Act, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, many more businesses in New Mexico who apply for forgiveness should be able to receive it. That means more of the money going to New Mexico businesses will stay in the state and not have to be repaid.
“The new guidelines mean that New Mexico businesses can reopen at their own pace and work toward a safer, stronger recovery,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “The businesses can take more time to prepare and have until the end of the year hire back employees. The changes are a good thing for many small businesses in the state that are still under some health restrictions. I urge businesses who have not yet applied for PPP to take another look at this program before it closes for good on June 30.”
The biggest change allows PPP loan recipients until Dec. 31, 2020 to restore the employee headcount to pre-pandemic levels. The provision does not require hiring back a specific worker, just reaching the same headcount pre-pandemic in order to qualify for some loan forgiveness.
The new rules also reduce the percentage of PPP dollars required to be spent on payroll — to 60 percent from 75 percent. That change is particularly beneficial to galleries and specialty retailers with few employees but higher overhead in other areas such as rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.
The term for new loans is also extended from two to five years for any repayment amounts that would be due back to the lender, and the time period to use PPP money has been extended from 8 to 24 weeks.
“Small businesses are breathing a sigh of relief that they now have more time to bring back employees,” John Garcia, New Mexico SBA District Director, said on the EDD webinar.
“The changes are really important for hospitality businesses, gyms, and restaurants — many of the businesses that are still under COVID-19 restrictions,” Russell Wyrick, Executive State Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, said.
The SBDC centers provide guidance and technical assistance for all SBA loan services and applications in New Mexico. For more information, go to
The SBA also reopened its application portal for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), a low-interest loan up to $2 million with payback periods of 20 to 30 years.
Wyrick emphasized on the webinar there are several other SBA loan options that might work for specific circumstances and his experts are available to advise business owners and nonprofit managers at no charge.
“The new guidance for PPP loan forgiveness is a welcomed action by the SBA. Many borrowers and lenders in New Mexico have been seeking clarification and a simplified process for asking for the intended forgiveness,” Jerry C. Walker, President & CEO Independent Community Bankers Association of New Mexico, said. “This is a positive action which moves us in that direction. Taken together, these actions benefit New Mexico’s small businesses who have been recipients of PPP loans.”
Some 650 New Mexico banks, credit unions, and community lenders have been active in SBA lending over the past several months with $2.2 billion in PPP money going to 20,431 New Mexico businesses and non-profits. Nationwide, $511 billion has been distributed under PPP.
The June 30 deadline for the program is fast approaching. “People often like to wait until the last minute,” Wyrick said on the EDD webinar. “Well, this is the last minute.”
For information on PPP and all the SBA loan programs go to SBA.GOV
For information on the state assistance, including the COVID-19 Loan Guarantee Program and the No-interest LEDA loan program, go to the EDD website, GONM.BIZ
For technical help and advice on SBA programs and loan applications go to
For a list of SBA lending partners go here.
For comprehensive information from the State of New Mexico on the COVID-19 health emergency, including data, testing, economic, and food assistance, go to NEWMEXICO.GOV.