Rep. Vasquez focuses on small businesses in visit to South Valley

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On Tuesday, New Mexico’s newest congressman got busy visiting his district.

Rep. Gabe Vasquez spent his first day focusing on small businesses. He spent time with the folks over at the South Valley Economic Development Center — a nonprofit that’s aimed at helping local entrepreneurs grow.

“We’re firm believers that New Mexicans have, you know, the solutions to all of our challenges here in the state,” said Jayme Chester, director of operations for SVEDC. 

Chester and others from SVEDC sat down with Vasquez. 

“I think small businesses are the heart of our community, the South Valley Economic Development Center, does a tremendous job of making sure that entrepreneurs from all walks of life, but especially here in the South Valley community, can be successful, have access to capital and have access to the resources that they need to succeed,” said Vasquez.

He says he wanted to meet with economic leaders to hear their needs. Part of the meeting was getting an update on a proposed expansion project for the South Valley Economic Development Center.

“It will be a place where you can aggregate large scale produce. So you can bring thousands of pounds or hundreds and hundreds of pounds to be washed and dried and processed, as opposed to just washing like and handwashing things where you’re doing just like low level hundreds of pounds,” said Chester. 

Vasquez says he wants to bridge the gap between New Mexican producers and small businesses, and the funds they need to make their dreams a reality. 

“These folks have great products, these folks have great ideas. But we have to make sure that we provide the resources, both at the state and the federal and at the local level,” Vasquez said. 

Vasquez says he’s excited to start working on policies in D.C. to benefit New Mexicans – the South Valley seems ready to work together with him. 

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but it’s exciting, and it’s cool that he remembers, and comes back, and wants to sit down and have those conversations. So that’s really exciting,” said Chester. 

Vasquez will head to Santa Teresa Wednesday. He plans to make more stops in the state through Thursday.