As New Mexicans face challenges from COVID-19, various programs aim to help | KOB 4

As New Mexicans face challenges from COVID-19, various programs aim to help

Patrick Hayes
Updated: January 08, 2021 10:20 PM
Created: January 08, 2021 09:40 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Friday, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller wrapped up a program that aims to help small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.

"It's a little bittersweet. We're now out of stimulus funding," Keller said. "We've got at least six months to go before we're going to fully open up, so just need folks to hang in there a little longer."

For months, the city has been giving millions of dollars in grants to hundreds of businesses.

Now, new numbers from a U.S. Census Bureau survey show New Mexico is seeing high rates of food scarcity, expected loss in employment and problems paying rent or mortgage.

Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley said the unemployment rate is going down in New Mexico.

"What we're finding is that as we can control the COVID virus, we can get more risk back into the economy and the unemployment numbers go down," he said.

Starting Monday, McCamley said people on unemployment can start receiving that extra $300 from the federal government.

According to the Census Bureau Survey, 17% of adults in New Mexico said they didn't have enough food to eat. Some studies suggest it's twice as bad for children.

The city recognizes the problem, and has been working to feed seniors and children during the pandemic.

"We've served well over half a million meals to our seniors, and also the children of our essential workers and first responders," Keller said.

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