Created: March 24, 2020 06:37 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Businesses in New Mexico were forced to close their doors on Tuesday after a “stay-at-home” order took effect.
The new set of rules were handed down on Monday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
In addition to re-enforcing restrictions for restaurants, the order states that non-essential businesses must close until April 10.
“We haven’t seen an order for all retail stores to close like this or those kinds of measures that have been taken to slow the spread of the virus,” said Albuquerque Business First’s editor-in-chief Rachel Sams.
Lujan Grisham previously stated that the public’s health was her top priority.
Still, Sams said the closures would have a huge impact on New Mexico’s economy.
“They are drastic and they will definitely have impact on the economy so New Mexico businesses are having to try and think creatively in ways they never had had to before and in order to make it through this time,” she said.
According to Sams, the state’s tourism, hospitality and service industries were due to get hit the hardest.
For example, officials with the city’s airport told KOB 4 that passenger travel had dropped 90 percent since the outbreak started.
Sams also stated the number of people seeking unemployment benefits was increasing dramatically.
“And you’re seeing lots of different effects of the shut down and stay-at-home order impact those businesses,” she said.
Sams said it’s unclear how long the negative impacts could last but said help from the state is on the way.
On Tuesday, the state added more money to a new fund by voting to take $100 million from the New Mexico’s permanent fund to help small businesses struggling because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The state’s department of health said 100 people have tested positive for the virus.
The newest cases include five cases in Bernalillo County.
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