City of Aztec hopes to help local businesses

Created: 01/20/2014 6:24 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The city of Aztec wants to help local businesses survive in its community.

Officials say they want to use some of the city's budget to help local businesses stay afloat, but before that can become a reality they need to get voter approval on the issue.

Errol Baade is one of the owners of Jack Plastic Welding.

He’s been in business for over 25 years on Aztec’s Main Street. He tells us he's seen a lot of local business come in and out over the years.

"A lot of people start and the next thing you know they're shut down so maybe there a something the city can do to help with that," he said.

But the city is looking what they can do to help keep them here. They want to hold a special election to ask voters if a percentage of the city's budget should go towards helping local businesses.

According to the New Mexico Local Economic Development Act, rural towns with 10,000 people or less can use up to 10 percent of its budget to help stimulate small business growth.

"Say they wanted to increase the size of the store or add more employees we could then those funds to help them do so," said Mayor Sally Burbridge. 

In a town of nearly 7,000 people, it's important for Aztec to find ways to help the local economy.

"Anytime a city can assist your business in expanding growing having more sales and certainly adding more jobs that becomes critically important for your community," said Burbridge.

And it's something businesses would welcome.

"I think they're trying to get vitality back into Main Street and I think that's a good thing," said Baade.

The city of Aztec hasn't set a date for the special election.

If voters pass the measure, local businesses would have to go through a lengthy application process to get the funds.

There will also be certain qualifications for businesses that apply.

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