Exactly $50 million in federal funds are being made available to small businesses throughout New Mexico negatively impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said the funding is coming from a larger $178 million fund that New Mexico earlier this year received from Washington as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
As announced, the state effort will make grant funding available to local governments across New Mexico which, in turn, will be able to help small businesses continue to weather the virus with the help of grants of varying sizes.
In order to receive the funding, local governments will be required to submit applications to the state. As part of that process they will also be required to list by priority the small businesses within their jurisdictions that are most in need of assistance.
By the requirements of the CARES Act, all such funds will only be available until the end of this year.
In announcing the funding availability, Lujan Grisham remarked: “This unprecedented public health and economic crisis has caused a tremendous strain on local governments and on small businesses across our state.”
Application forms have now been sent out to local governments from Santa Fe, with a submission deadline of August 7. State officials have said that all such applications will be reviewed within a 10-day time period, with recipients receiving grants by no later than August 21.
The initiative, as announced by the Governor, also includes $28 million for tribal governments.
Earlier this month, Lujan Grisham signed into law the Small Business Recovery Act of 2020, which was approved by lawmakers in a special session in June and is designed to help both small businesses as well as nonprofits in the state.
In announcing the signing of that legislation, the Governor’s office noted that eligible businesses and nonprofits could borrow two times their average monthly expenses up to a maximum of $75,000.
The statement added: “The measure set the interest rate at one-half the prime rate on the day the loan is made. The initial loan period is three years.”
By Garry Boulard
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