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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.

JTIP INVESTMENTS

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.

LEDA INVESTMENTS

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.

FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTION

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.

OUTDOOR RECREATION

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.

Major Expansion at New Mexico’s Spaceport America

A company that is developing and testing a mass accelerator with the aim of launching satellites into space orbit, using kinetic energy instead of rockets, is expanding at New Mexico’s Spaceport America, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

SpinLaunch signed a lease at Spaceport America in 2019 and has since invested in test facilities and an integration facility. The company is now set to hire an additional 59 highly-paid workers and complete the build of its suborbital centrifugal launch system for its next phase of development. SpinLaunch expects to start test launches in New Mexico in 2021.

“Spaceport America is the next frontier for innovation,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “It is a magnet for companies on the cutting edge, like SpinLaunch, and New Mexico is glad for their partnership with and investment in our state. I’m incredibly excited about this latest expansion at the Spaceport. We’ve only begun scratching the surface of what’s possible in aerospace technology in Southern New Mexico.”

The State of New Mexico, through the Economic Development Department’s LEDA job-creators fund, is supporting the expansion with $4 million, paid out in phases as SpinLaunch reaches economic development goals.

“SpinLaunch is part of the growing community of businesses creating jobs and innovating new technologies at New Mexico’s Spaceport America,” Cabinet Secretary Keyes said. “We see the state’s space cluster as an important economic driver to diversify the economy with higher-paying jobs in Southern New Mexico.”

The company, expected to spend $46 million of private money in construction and expansion over 10 years, will generate an economic impact of $239 million over that period of time statewide.

SpinLaunch founder Jonathan Yaney said the technology behind the company is a cleaner and more affordable way to reach orbit.

“Our technology enables a 10 times reduction in the current costs and complexities of reaching orbit. As the number of rocket launches rapidly increases, SpinLaunch uniquely reaches space without releasing pollutants into critical layers of the atmosphere. We’re satisfying both the economic and environmental demands of a space industry experiencing exponential growth. This is the first time in human history we have an alternative to rockets,” Yaney said.

SpinLaunch has also qualified for job training assistance through the state’s Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP). According to Yaney, the economic development initiatives were essential for a small company like SpinLaunch, as it works to innovate and bring to market a unique business.

“SpinLaunch will grow into thousands of employees as we develop,” Yaney said. “When you’re this young of a company, with this bold of a concept, being able to receive assistance is absolutely essential. This support was instrumental in deciding to come to New Mexico.”

Sierra County is the fiscal agent for the project and the Sierra County Commission will consider the LEDA ordinance in the coming weeks.

“Sierra County is excited to collaborate with the Economic Development Department and SpinLaunch on this project,” Sierra County Manager Bruce Swingle said. “This project will create 59 new jobs in the region, at an average salary of $72,322. In a rural community, these high-paying jobs will have an immediate impact and significantly boost our economy. High-paying jobs mean more revenue for our schools, hospital, and infrastructure.”

Yaney said SpinLaunch will strongly recruit from New Mexico’s universities and is reaching out to NMSU and New Mexico Tech for its talent. As the company moves toward test launches, its hires will shift toward engineers and other technical experts.

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.

 

Virtual ‘Cash Mobs’ Support Local Businesses in Six NM MainStreet Districts

The New Mexico MainStreet (NMMS) program announced today that six districts are using ‘Cash Mob’ virtual events to support local businesses during the pandemic and upcoming holiday season. Events are hosted on Facebook Live where participants bid on items, arrange payment and socialize during the fun two-hour session. Lively hosts entertain and educate as they sell items and encourage viewers to shop locally to contribute to their communities. This year, ‘Cash Mob’ has helped businesses stay open and allowed shoppers to buy local goods safely from home.

“Virtual ‘Cash Mob’ events are another way New Mexican businesses have adapted during the current health and economic crises,” Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “I’m proud that NM MainStreet districts are supporting the health and safety of their communities while still being innovative and flexible as they prepare for the holiday shopping season.”

The Raton ‘Cash Mob’ was formed by Raton residents Lynette Simpson and Melissa Unger, who have hosted in-person and virtual events for nearly a decade. When the pandemic and quarantine started last spring, Brenda Ferri from Raton MainStreet partnered with Jessica Barfield from the City of Raton Economic Development Department, Geoff Peterson and Patricia Duran from the Center for Community Innovation and the Raton ‘Cash Mob’ to host virtual Facebook events to save local businesses.

“Our MainStreet and Arts & Cultural districts have stepped up to show that local businesses are vital to the economic health of our state,” NMMS Director Daniel Gutierrez said. “By using technology and social media to support downtown businesses, these districts are helping communities thrive during the pandemic and beyond.”

  • Raton MainStreet co-hosted weekly ‘Cash Mob’ events throughout the summer. They generously shared the format and technical specifications with organizations in Colorado and several NMMS districts. Raton MainStreet raised over $40,000 in just three months of Facebook Live events. Raton ‘Cash Mob’ will present the 12 Days of Christmas ‘Cash Mob’ series beginning November 3, 2020 to help people shop locally for the holidays. “We are so proud that we have been able to save our town, one small business at a time,” said Raton MainStreet Executive Director Brenda Ferri.
  • MainStreet de Las Vegas facilitated ‘Cash Mob’ virtual events all summer and raised over $46,000 for 16 local businesses. They plan to continue events during the upcoming holiday shopping season. The ‘Cash Mob’ on November 4, 2020 will benefit MainStreet de Las Vegas. “We are thrilled with the success of our ‘Cash Mob!’ We start our Holiday ‘Cash Mob’ Market on November 18th. Come shop with us,” said MainStreet de Las Vegas Executive Director Michael Peranteau.
  • Clovis MainStreet hosted three ‘Save Our Stores’ flash sales on Facebook for local businesses throughout the summer. They’re planning to ramp up this effort and schedule more events to encourage local shopping this holiday season. “Thanks to Raton ‘Cash Mob’ and Raton MainStreet’s expertise and years of experience, we have been able to learn from their community successes and bring that to our community. We are excited to continue to build on new and creative ways to support our local small businesses,” said Clovis MainStreet Executive Director Lisa Pellegrino-Spear.
  • Tucumcari MainStreet is partnering with the Tucumcari/Quay County Chamber of Commerce to host Christmas ‘Cash Mob’ virtual events in November and December to help small businesses. The events will be a part of their 2020 Very Merry Tucumcari events. “These virtual ‘Cash Mobs’ are a wonderful way to show your love for local businesses this holiday season. One business at a time, we can help save our local small businesses,” said Tucumcari MainStreet Executive Director Connie Loveland.
  • Silver City MainStreet will start promoting ‘Cash Mob’ virtual events in November. They have 11 businesses signed up for their Facebook live events. “These events are a win-win. They help our small businesses survive and let residents shop safely from home,” said Silver City MainStreet Executive Director Charmeine Wait.
  • The Northwest New Mexico Arts Council (part of Farmington’s designated Arts & Cultural district) hosted their first ‘Virtual Spotlight’ at the Artifacts 302 art gallery on October 8, 2020. Every week, they will highlight a different art gallery or downtown business on Facebook to promote Small Business Saturday. They also encourage fans to like or share the live video for a chance to win a $25 gift card to the participating business in #theHeARTofFarmingtonACD.

When the pandemic and quarantine started, NMMS Revitalization Specialists produced a series of webinars to train business owners on online marketing and ecommerce, including PayPal and Square setup. The goal of these webinars was to get businesses established on the Buy NM Local website, buynmlocal.com. Recordings of these webinars can be viewed on NMMS’s YouTube channel.

The ‘Cash Mob’ phenomenon has been highlighted by KOB-TV, KRQE-TV, Main Street America, and the Las Vegas Optic.

 

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.

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.

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.”

New Mexico Makes Top 10(s) in Site Selection State Rankings Report

New Mexico made multiple Top 10 lists in site selector Business Facilities‘ 16th Annual State Rankings Report. The Land of Enchantment is also the Land of Fantastic:

  • Workforce Development – Talent Attraction (Number 9)
  • Film Production Leaders (Number 2)
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems (Number 9)
  • Electricity Generation (Number 8)

New Mexico’s Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) is one of the most generous in the country. NM JTIP funds classroom and on-the-job training, supporting newly-created jobs in expanding and relocating businesses.  And it reimburses 50-75% of employee wages. The program recently awarded nearly $1 million to support a total of 120 new and existing workers.

“New Mexico has a robust pipeline of businesses looking to expand in the state and relocate here,” says Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “We know JTIP and other assistance helps businesses bring new and higher paying employees on board, sooner and with more confidence.”

The New Mexico film industry is a state favorite, according to the recent Garrity Group survey. “It definitely contributes to a ‘cool factor’ we have here,” says Annemarie Henton, Vice President of Business and Development Marketing for Albuquerque Economic Development.

This year’s disruptions presented methodological challenges to the study. Business Facilities explains:

The process of evaluating the information we use to calculate our annual rankings usually begins in the spring. In the spring of 2020, as the unfolding calamity of the coronavirus pandemic turned all of our lives upside down, we had to decide what, if any, impact the disruptions of COVID-19 would have on the results in our 16th Annual Rankings Report.

We always try to configure our rankings as forward indicators that give you a clear picture not just of which locations are atop our leaderboard, but also who’s got the Big Mo—the assets, strategies and track record that spell growth potential.

In our 16th annual rankings, we’ve acknowledged the unique circumstances of what we all hope is a temporary disruption. We’ve dropped our overall state and metro Economic Growth Potential rankings for this year’s report; we won’t speculate on which regional economies are going to recover the fastest from this unprecedented crisis. We also reset our rankings data clock, setting it early enough to make sure that the wind-shear level turbulence the pandemic has inflicted on economies, markets and employment statistics did not skew our results. You might say we’ve quarantined COVID-19 and locked it out of our Rankings Report.

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.

Film Industry Thriving in New Mexico

The New Mexico film and television industry is becoming a state favorite. A recent survey by the Garrity Group polled New Mexicans to determine the state’s perception of 17 industries. Film tied with community colleges for #3 most favorable, following the farm and ranch industry at #2 and small business in the #1 spot.

The film industry was included in the survey this year because of its increasing economic impact and the positive exposure it brings to New Mexico. “It provides a sense of pride when we see the state’s natural and unique landscapes featured on the big screen,” says Tom Garrity, president of The Garrity Group Public Relations. “Major studios are now here and film throughout the state will continue to generate intangible benefits for tourism and economic development.”

“The survey shows strong favorability for the film industry across New Mexico because it provides a high-paying career path for local students who want to work in the entertainment industry,” Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “It’s also indicative of the support we hear from business owners who receive benefits from in-state production spending on goods and services.”

“I am glad to see support for film and television all across New Mexico,” New Mexico Film Office Director Amber Dodson said. “We have worked hard to bring productions into rural areas and to showcase communities outside the Rio Grande Corridor. This survey shows people everywhere in the state want to see this industry grow and succeed.”
The favorability of the film industry cuts across all demographic groups in New Mexico, but tops out with college graduates, 81 percent of whom gave the industry a 4 or 5 favorability rating on a scale of 1 to 5.
If you’re thinking of becoming a business owner, New Mexico is a cool place to do it. Read about opportunities to buy a business in New Mexico and contact us to learn more!

Happiness is a Competitive Advantage

Can positivity gain you a competitive advantage? Emphatically yes, says Harvard-trained “happiness researcher” Shawn Achor. According to Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, “If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage. Your brain at positive performs significantly better than at negative, neutral, or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise.”

A positive start to your day may increase your productivity by around 30%, says Achor. And this isn’t a bad year for some self-TLC, output-based incentives aside.

This Inc. article describes a morning routine that primes you for a constructive, positive day. For an optimal morning, Achor suggests a few deliberate minutes on gratitude, meditation, exercise, and an expression of kindness. The latter serves to boost your network as well as your mood. Specifically, try emailing or texting a different person every morning with a message of support, praise, or thankfulness. “People who do this become known as positive leaders with strong social connections–the greatest predictor of long-term happiness,” writes Inc.

By the way, New Mexico is a fabulous place to integrate morning outdoor activities into your daily life! If you’re looking to buy a business, you can sustain a high quality of life while saving money in our beautiful, affordable cities. Learn more about opportunities to buy a business in New Mexico here.