New Mexico Economic Development Department Regional Representatives Support Local Business and Community Development

The Economic Development Department has a complete network of economic development experts around the state that are uniquely qualified to assist local governments and community organizations as New Mexico works toward a sustainable recovery.

Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said the Community, Business & Rural Development program was created by the Legislature to provide the EDD with an expert assigned to each regional economic planning district. When first created, each regional representative had an office in Santa Fe.

Today, there are six Community, Business & Rural Development employees at EDD, working full-time throughout the state. They are known as regional representatives, and are located statewide, with EDD staffers living in Las Cruces, Roswell, Mora, Albuquerque, Bernalillo, and Santa Fe. They assist businesses and communities in a broad variety of economic development needs, providing local support and knowledge within their designated regions.

“The regional reps are EDD’s boots-on-the-ground in all corners of the state,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “They know their communities, they are trusted in their communities, and they are an especially important resource to businesses and local organizations during the health emergency, helping to provide information and assistance as we move forward.”

The team specializes in areas such as passing and using the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) which primarily provides brick and mortar funding for job creation; community infrastructure financing assisted by FUNDIT; starting and maintaining Business Retention & Expansion (BRE) programs; workforce training through the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP); the LEADS grant program, which funds projects with quick impacts; assisting communities in locating new companies with the support of the New Mexico Partnership; help resolving state regulatory issues; and improving access to other EDD programs such as MainStreet, Arts & Cultural Districts, and the Frontier & Native American Communities Initiative.

Learn more about the Community, Business & Rural Development program administered by the N.M. Economic Development Department, including full contact information for each region and links to other community and business resources.

Congratulations to the Santa Fean and Essential Guide!

Major congratulations to the Santa Fean, the Essential Guide, and Kelly and Martin Haug, who acquired both publications this Spring. We are so thrilled to have facilitated the transfer of ownership of these wonderful publications! We are confident that both will continue their legacies of value for Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico and thrive under the Haugs’ stewardship. The Essential Guide spotlights Northern New Mexico art, shopping, recreation, entertainment, and lifestyle options for locals and tourists alike. The Santa Fean has been sharing the stories of Santa Fe and beyond for nearly 50 years.

Entrepreneurs extraordinaire, Kelly and Martin Haug head multiple businesses (including Green Coyote Shipping, Santa Fe Print & Images, and Enchantment Energy) with a mindset deeply rooted in community.

“I don’t see it as being a serial entrepreneur. I see it as an ability to help the community in more than one way,” says Kelly Haug, now publisher of the Santa Fean and Essential Guide, in the Santa Fe New Mexican. “I’ve always been there when people needed help. … I made the conscious decision to close on the acquisitions during a pandemic because I see it as an opportunity to help the community.”

“With the addition of a few new members, the Essential Guide team will begin re-establishing the bimonthly Santa Fean as a go-to publication that celebrates the city’s unique culture, events and diverse history,” according to a news release.

“You can expect a seamless transition and the same high-quality content, along with fresh, new touches Kelly will bring to the enterprise,” say Trish and Chyp Byrd, who owned the Essential Guide for over 14 year,  in this Albuquerque Journal article.

“After almost 15 successful years in business we thought it was time for new opportunities,” say Trish and Chyp Byrd. “During discussions with Michael Greene, owner of Sam Goldenberg & Associates, he convinced me of the value of our companies and to trust his company with the confidential sale of our publication brand. He and his Senior Account Manager, J. Erika Munde assisted me and the current owner on a daily basis throughout the process—completing the transaction successfully even during the Covid pandemic, allowing us to receive our expected valuation price through creative strategies. We would recommend Sam Goldenberg & Associates whole-heartedly.”

 

 

Yes, Your Small Business Can Survive and Thrive in the Age of COVID-19

Article By: Elena Stewart

If you run a small business, chances are you’ve been put in a very uncertain position since COVID-19 reared its ugly head. But despite the obvious and many challenges that the current situation has put forth, the fact is, there’s still more than one way to keep your business going and even thriving during this dark time and whatever will come after. Let’s take a closer look at the measures you can take.

Take It Remote

If you’re yet to take your small business remote, the pandemic may just be the push that you need. After all, the alternative of shutting down your business entirely is a lot less compelling and definitely out of the question. The fact is, there are plenty of reasons why running your business remotely is the way to go during the pandemic and beyond, and there are many resources to help you do so.

Tap the Right Talents

Running a successful small business that will stand the test of the pandemic and time, in general, will ultimately hinge on how things are getting done. Of course, you shouldn’t have to do it all on your own. It’s crucial to have the right people on your team, yes, but it’s just as important to learn how to keep your overhead low by turning to freelancers.

  • Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, freelance workers were already the popular choice for many businesses, big and small.
  • Indeed, it’s interesting to note how freelancers and small businesses have been helping each other thrive.
  • Thankfully, it’s easy enough to use online job boards to find freelancers these days.
  • For instance, if you’re looking to breathe new life into your website, you can hire a Squarespace designer from job sites like Upwork.
  • But of course, you’ll need to have solid hiring measures in place, too, so you end up choosing the right freelancer.

Freelancers are certainly already equipped to work remotely, but, if you’re looking to hire a full or part-time employee, make sure to clarify the position is not in-office. Many will already have a home workspace set up and ready to go; others may need time to get their home ready for the job.

Turn to Tech

Thanks to amazing advances in technology, it’s possible to run a business online. This is undoubtedly a godsend in the age of social distancing. And yes, your small business is bound to benefit in more ways than one with multitudes of tech tools, apps, and resources now available today.

  • There’s no shortage of great online marketing tools you can use, too, to attract new businesses and retain current ones.
  • Finally, you’ll need an arsenal of remote work tools and apps to keep your business running smoothly and your productivity and focus at an all-time high.

Ultimately, it’s not enough to just aim at keeping your business afloat to weather the pandemic; you’ll need to look for opportunities for innovation and growth, as well. And yes, they are out there, so make sure you’re looking onward and forward so your business is successful.

Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com

Love What You Do! Buy a Business that Aligns with Your Goals

Can you make money and follow your dreams? Yes!

A recent article at Entrepreneur posits a framework for deciding if you might be able to turn your hobby into a business. The piece (very reasonably) revolves around the potential for monetization. “Even if you’re pursuing this mostly because of your passion,” writes SEO.co CRO Timothy Carter, “you’ll still need a stream of income to offset your costs and keep the business running.” Uncontroversial!

Carter suggests the following points to use as a fulcrum between “for fun” and “business model:”

Production. One of the most straightforward options for hobbies that involve physical production is selling the physical goods you create. You can sell your art, your crafts and your structures for a price that exceeds your costs. Thanks to the prevalence of online platforms, this is a highly popular option: There are 2.1 million sellers on Etsy alone.

Viewership/readership. You can also make money just by attracting a sufficient readership or viewership. Producing blog content or regular video streams about your hobby can be your route to a steady audience; from there, you can monetize your practice with sponsorships, affiliate links and advertising.

Education. Even if the other paths don’t pan out, there may be a path to monetization by educating people on how to engage with your hobby. You can charge for lessons, private coaching sessions or group seminars; the only prerequisite is a sufficient skill level.

“The bottom line,” he concludes, “is that you’ll need to find some reliable way to generate revenue. This is possible for nearly all hobbies but is more promising for some hobbies than others.”

Production, however, can be hard to scale without sufficient systems in place. And viewership and education depend on standing out in a very crowded content consumption market.

We’d like to suggest another way: find an existing business that aligns with your passion and goals that’s for sale. Purchasing a vetted business allows you to avoid many pitfalls of creating one from scratch. “Your chances of success are far greater buying an existing business than starting your own,” says Michael Greene, President of Sam Goldenberg and Associates.  “A good broker can help you find an established business that already has a proven success model, history of revenue generation, and immediate cash flow. It can also come with much more: inventory, trained employees, a customer base, operating systems, equipment, vendors, transitional support—the list goes on. It is a more manageable risk than other options.”

“Finding an existing local business for sale can often be less risky and more satisfying and rewarding than starting completely from scratch,” says Simon Brackley, former President and CEO of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. “Aspiring entrepreneurs can enjoy improvements in operations, marketing and strategy rather than starting from the ground up.”

The realm of small business is vast. If you’re concerned you can’t find a business that fits your goals, you might be surprised. Our current listings alone include art galleries, publications full of character, design studios, restaurants, a dog daycare, spas, and more. Furthermore, Baby Boomers are entering retirement age and facing choices about prioritizing health and energy post-pandemic. As they make shifts in their lives, the market for businesses is likely to become even larger and more diverse.

This has been a weird year, but the bright side is that many of us have used this time to reflect on the changes we’d like to make in our lives. Consider buying a business that helps you live your values, master your own time, and pursue your own dreams–all while mitigating risk and uncertainty. Contact us to learn more and embark on a path of business ownership and work that you love.

Economic Development Releases Latest County Reports: Community data highlights activity in all 33 counties

The most up-to-date economic information for the State of New Mexico, including all 33 counties, is now available on the Economic Development Department website.

The County Reports project is an initiative by the EDD to offer more comprehensive data about spending, unemployment, and wages to local communities, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.

The most recent data covers the last three months of fiscal year 2020 – April, May, and June. The reports are available here.

“We know this first-of-its-kind project has been an asset for legislators and local decision makers as they look at their own communities to see how they need to diversify and grow jobs after the health emergency,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “These reports can provide valuable insights for them as they work with us and all their other partners to rebuild jobs and make their economies stronger.”

Highlights

The newest round of county reports show that in the 4th quarter of 2020:
  • Overall Matched GRT statewide declined 2% in the quarter with food and accommodation seeing a 31% statewide decline in the quarter and arts and entertainment dropping 68%.
  • GRT for retail trade, including some online sales, increased 11% statewide in the quarter.
  • Construction GRT statewide was 28% higher in the quarter.
  • Matched GRT has been strong in the smaller counties with large construction project; Roosevelt (+293%) Luna (+237%), Torrance (+166%) and Sandoval (+157%).

About the Data

Deputy Cabinet Secretary Jon Clark said that the latest information is aggregated from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, N.M. Taxation and Revenue Department, Department of Workforce Solutions, U.S. Census Bureau, and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Clark explained that the data shows the state might be more resilient than first expected, as consumer spending as shown through gross receipts dipped in many counties the last quarter, but remained more steady over the 12-month fiscal year.

“We know accommodations and food services, as well as arts and entertainment, have really suffered, but construction has remained robust, and not just in the counties with energy production,” Clark said.

In a video interview about the county reports, Clark said there is still a great deal of uncertainty because so much of the consumer and business spending was boosted by emergency federal stimulus to unemployed workers, families, and business owners from U.S. Small Business Administration loans.

The decline in federal stimulus money for the unemployed means $40 million less a week in available spending from state residents. “The reports show that New Mexico can climb back out of the hole and we don’t have to have a deep recession,” Clark said. “But we are going to need a little continuing federal support until businesses can fully reopen.”

10 Tips for Safe Offices

As businesses re-open offices and welcome employees back from working from home, office safety is a huge concern for many business owners and HR leaders. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests these 10 practical and actionable ideas on how offices can adapt to the coronavirus era.

Capacity signage

Social distancing can be challenging in offices that previously packed in workers, but one important addition that can help control how many people are in various spaces is custom-made capacity signs. Offices may have had a single capacity sign before but now they could have many. Every space — whether it’s a conference room, lobby, elevator, kitchen or bathroom — could have a sign mandating the number of people that should use it to comply with state, local and other guidelines.

Check-in stations in lobbies

Whereas office lobbies may have been a place for groups to congregate before, no longer. Instead, some lobbies could be converted into health check-in stations to screen employees. If employees have a temperature or are showing visible signs of sickness, they’d then be asked to go home.

Flexible desk spaces

Shifting workers from dedicated desks to spaced out flexible desks may be one way to accommodate returning workers in some offices. As workers may not come in every day to meet occupancy requirements, this means more space can become general purpose. Flexible spaces could allow for easier cleaning, too.

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant stations

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes have become much more popular since COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020. Many offices will likely invest in hand sanitizer and other disinfectant products and create stations around the office so people can get a quick squirt of sanitizer, get a wipe to use before a conference room meeting, or the like.

Improved air filtration

Research shows that one of the most prominent ways COVID-19 spreads is through “respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.” As such, excellent air filtration will be a priority for offices that are reopening. CBRE recommends that office buildings work to “increase outside air ventilation rates and filtration efficiency” or to install new filtration systems altogether when needed.

Plexiglass barriers

With open office spaces falling out of favor during COVID-19, a way businesses can help workers socially distance is through the addition of Plexiglass barriers. These large plastic sheets, which are now being used as sneeze guards in stores, can also be designed to block employees off from each other. The plus side to using the barriers is that employees can still see each other and be able to hear one another when speaking while also risking less exposure to the virus.

Social distancing floor indicators

One novel way to encourage social distancing, as outlined by Cushman & Wakefield’s Netherlands office, is to use floor stickers that show how far six feet actually is. Stickers (or custom carpets) can be placed underneath where employees sit in order to show exactly how far other employees should stay from that person when conversing.

Touchless everything

With COVID-19 able to spread on surfaces, offices will likely invest in touchless devices wherever they can reasonably be installed. For example, entry and exit doors can either automatically open or require key fobs to open doors instead of requiring door handles. And in bathrooms, a common place for germs to spread, offices can install automatic sinks, soap dispensers and dryers.

UV-C lamps

While UV-C lamps may have previously only been found in places like hospitals, these devices that disinfect air and surface particles could soon find a place in busy office spaces. While these lamps can be dangerous if people are too close to them while in use, they could be used after hours as part of a coronavirus-inspired deep cleaning routine.

Video chat rooms

With many employees working remotely and likely a smaller percentage planning to come in than normal, one smart way to redesign the office is to facilitate meetings in newly dedicated video call rooms. For example, design firm Bergmeyer told CityLab it planned to “turn all of its smaller conference rooms into video chat spaces” and is “experimenting with backgrounds that work well for remote meetings.”

Tips for Buying an Essential Business

“With the idea that essential businesses can be recession-proof and even boom during a public crisis, buying one is becoming a more attractive prospect,” says franchise expert Chris Buitron in a recent Milwaukee Community Journal article.

The thought piece, “4 Factors To Consider Before Buying An Essential Business In COVID Times,” discusses a rising interest among buyers in essential businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has many buyers rethinking what type of business they might want to own, often turning to those deemed essential such as grocery, delivery, cleaning, and home services.

When looking into buying an essential business, Buitron recommends you consider the following:

  • Focus on successful types of essential businesses, those that are more likely to succeed even when economic conditions are poor.
  • Consider franchise opportunities which offer training and support.
  • Be able to decipher between a bargain and a bad investment.
  • Make sure that owning a business is right for you and that you are right for the business.

Focus on successful types of essential businesses. Among the essential businesses  that have the potential to succeed even during difficult economic times are: delivery services, grocery stores, convenience stores, e-commerce, gas stations, cleaning services, liquor stores, auto repair, lawn care, pest control, mailing/shipping services, and contracting. “The pandemic may be with us for a while,” Buitron says. “People will be home more often, and businesses that can service their needs while home will gain customers.”

Consider franchises as ownership opportunities. While some franchises are struggling during the pandemic, others are in a better position, Buitron says. “For franchises in general, much of the industry will be entering a buyer’s market, and those with the means will find some good opportunities,” he says. “People need jobs, and franchises annually employ 9 million people in the U.S. One benefit of buying a franchise is having an organizational and management team already in place to train you and help guide you. Reach out to other franchise owners to get a sense of the company’s commitment and support.”

Know a bargain vs. a bad investment. A relatively low sale price tempts some people into making a poor buying decision on a business. Buitron says it’s important to pore over the business’ financial numbers that it recorded before the pandemic and do all the research possible – especially of the market where the business is located – to determine if it was on a growth track and what the competition is like. “Two questions you need to ask yourself as a potential buyer of an essential business are: What can you bring new to the business to make it more successful, and why was or wasn’t it profitable?” he says.

Be sure you’re up to owning a business. “There are no guarantees with owning an essential business,” Buitron says. “The pandemic has put a spotlight on their importance, but they take lots of work and organizational skills to run. If you are someone who can’t deal well with uncertainty, buying a business any time, let alone during the most uncertain time in our history, isn’t the right choice. Buying a business and committing to it requires thorough research, a passion for the business, a solid financial foundation and a leap of faith.”

If you’re looking for the right business to buy, we can help navigate the complexities of this year’s unusual market and business environment. Check out our listings here and contact us for more information!

Own a Doggie Daycare: A Business of Health and Happiness

Do you like dogs? Do you like happiness? Then, boy oh good boi, do we have a business opportunity for you!

This state-of-the-art Doggie Daycare has a delightful mission: to increase the amount of joy in the world by helping dogs stay healthy and happy—and ­­better able to support us.

2020 has been, well, rough. As many new owners are learning, dogs help. Studies show that dogs make our lives better and even longer. They provide friendship, decrease stress and anxiety, keep us moving, and generally generate joy. This blog at Fluent Woof celebrates the many benefits of dog ownership for adults, children, seniors, families, and even entrepreneurs.

For many animal-lovers, the idea of spending their days interacting with dogs and the people who love them can seem like the stuff of fantasy. This business puts that dream within your reach. And it’s a dream that has particular relevance during Covid-19.

“What began in mid-March as a sudden surge in demand for dogs had, as of mid-July, become a bona fide sales boom” reports The Washington Post.  “Shelters, nonprofit rescues, private breeders, pet stores — all reported more consumer demand than there were dogs and puppies to fill it. Americans kept trying to fill voids with canine companions, either because they were stuck working from home with children who needed something to do, or had no work and lots of free time, or felt lonely with no way to socialize.”

People are also discovering that dogs take a lot of energy. You may have seen the slew of memes depicting dogs’ enthusiastic embrace of quarantine life.  As people return to work, separation anxiety is a real problem. Even dog owners who are working from home can find it difficult to meet their dogs’ need for play and attention.

This Doggie Daycare business has you and your pup covered. They provide socialization, training, and play opportunities that help dogs be their best selves. Dogs get exercise and behavior support (from canine coaches and other dogs) so they’re able to give their owners calmer comradery. Plus, the more they’re acclimated to new stimuli and environments, the better able they are to handle social outings with their people. Owners can pick their doggos up after work and take them meet friends for patio hangouts. Everyone gets to be together and enjoy each other’s company – something especially to be cherished this year!

This is an opportunity to own a business that fosters health and happiness for people and pets. It’s a fun, cute place to work where you can feel great about what you do. If this sounds good, contact us to learn more.

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!

Tips for Negotiating with Vendors

Vendor relations are important, and this is probably even more true in a year with supply chain disruptions and budget adjustments. As many businesses are looking for ways to save money, many vendors are hoping to hold on to clients. It might be a good time to talk about wiggle room. “Suppliers and service providers are often open to negotiating their ‘standard’ prices if you ask, and doing so can help your business get the best deal possible on goods and services,” write US Chamber of Commerce Contributor Nicole Fallon in CO.

Preparation

It helps to have a set of specific questions prepared before your conversation, according to CO. This will help both parties to communicate clearly and understand each other’s needs.  For example:

  • What is the length of our current agreement?
  • What is the minimum purchase quantity requirement?
  • What is your order processing time?
  • How many shipping methods do you have?
  • Are you a national distributor?
  • Who are some of your other clients and what are the terms of their current contracts?

Tips for a successful negotiation

The Chamber recommends these strategies for a successful negotiation.

Do your research beforehand

Research your vendor, their industry and how the current economy has been affecting their business. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of what their position is and how they might be able to alter your contracts.

“Ground yourself with market knowledge of what competing vendors charge and what businesses similar to yours pay for comparable services,” says Andy Diamond, president of Angry Crab Shack. “When you have this knowledge, the conversation shifts to a more productive discussion, rather than you asking questions, and you’ll likely have a better chance of locking in the terms you’re looking for.”

Be flexible with what a ‘win-win’ looks like

Most negotiations won’t result in both sides getting everything they want, exactly how they want it, so be prepared to compromise.

“‘Win-win’ deals are kind of a misnomer,” says Ayesha Holloman, founder of Outdoorish. “Both entities can make concessions in a win-win bargain so that each party gets some level of profit. Win-win negotiations take a long-term approach in a relationship-based environment, with an equilibrium of achievement and success for both ends over a period of time.”

Aim for honesty and transparency

You do yourself, your business and your vendor partners a disservice when you aren’t open and transparent during negotiations. Eric Kardon, director of operations at Angry Crab Shack, emphasized that both sides need to be fully honest in these discussions.

“Transparency works best in leveling with a vendor and letting them know where you stand and your needs,” Kardon says. “If you want to have a longstanding business relationship, then compromising is a must. Extending the contract longer than you initially wanted in order to get your terms is a common compromise. Just remember, in any negotiation if one side feels they did not get a good deal, then it’s less likely more deals will happen in the future.”

Be prepared to walk away and keep searching

You may not be able to get what you want out of negotiations, and that’s OK. You may have to walk away and find a different vendor to partner with.

“Not every opportunity is for you,” says David Vranicar, managing partner and founder of FBS Fortified & Ballistic Security. “Not securing a deal isn’t a failure, it might just not be the right time for it, or even unconsciously one party might realize it’s not a fit even though neither of you can quantify why. Keep yourself on their radar and watch for opportunities, or re-approach them when you’re able to better meet terms.”