New Mexico Senate considers $200 million in business relief

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A bill is headed toward a state Senate vote that would provide $200 million from the state general fund to thousands of businesses that experienced income declines in 2020.

Scheduled for a crucial vote Thursday, the bill would provide individual grants of up to $100,000 without repayment to businesses for the reimbursement of rent, lease or mortgage obligations.

The proposal from Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf and allied state Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos stands among a long list of bills aimed at reviving the local economy as New Mexico emerges from the pandemic.

New Mexico’s current emergency health order places restrictions on most businesses and limits public gatherings.