State approves 6,500 small business grants | KOB 4

State approves 6,500 small business grants

Patrick Hayes
Updated: December 29, 2020 10:39 PM
Created: December 29, 2020 10:19 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A lot of businesses have been reaching out for help during the pandemic, but many will soon be out of luck after the state said they ran out of CARES Act funds. 

The state said more than 14,000 companies applied for small business grants approved by lawmakers last month. However, only 6,500 will receive money.  

Officials with the city of Albuquerque also said they ran out of its shares of CARES Act funding. 

During the city’s last rounds of applications, they had 332 grants available, but received 796 applications. According to the city’s website, “those who have applied will be placed into a lottery and will be notified by our small business office.”

The city is expected to deliver those remaining checks next Friday. 

"There's a lot of gratitude out there, not only for what the legislature and governor put forth but for the work our folks have been doing to get the money into the hands of the small businesses that need it the most,” said Marquita Russel, CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority. 

Russel oversaw the state’s $100 million grant program. She said the average grant was worth about $15,000 and that companies were chosen based on the greatest need. 

“Given on how much need there was and we were limited to $100 million in funding, we were able to prioritize the applications based on economic impact so as applications came in they were processed, and we reviewed them and prioritized them on their profit and loss over the pandemic period,” she said. 

Russel said a lot of money went to helping restaurants and hotels. They also kept thousands of applications that didn’t get approved in case they can help those businesses later. 

"We'll be able to tell the policymakers who we were able to help, who we were not able to help, and the kind of need we still think exists out there so should the legislature have state funds or federal funds to put towards this purpose they'd have some data from which to work,” she said.

Meanwhile, the city of Albuquerque said they do have other resources available to help businesses including training programs such as Job Training Albuquerque and the Minority Business Development Agency Center. 



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