In a press release on Friday, April 17, the Economic Development and Workforce Solutions Departments of New Mexico said that there are hundreds of businesses and tens of thousands of workers in New Mexico that are receiving emergency money during the COVID-19 pandemic because state agencies have been able to speedup assistance efforts. The Department of Workforce Solutions reported “that 55,140 workers are receiving unemployment benefits with $24.2 million paid out” in the week of April 12. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation also pays an additional $600 per person per week; this money is automatically applied to the other unemployment amount, so applicants do not have to apply separately. The federal compensation is in effect until July 31, 2020. The Workforce Solutions Department has more than 200 employees, as well as employees from other agencies, who are available to provide phone assistance
Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico, has also authorized two state programs through the Economic Development Department for business owners. These programs are the COVID-19 Loan Guarantee Program and the no interest Local Economic Development Act (LEDA), which was made primarily for manufacturing businesses that are considered to be a part of the economic base of New Mexico. Lenders working with the COVID-19 Loan Guarantee Program have already approved $1.7 million for loans to more the 30 businesses with over 300 employees in counties around the state including Curry County. Businesses must go through their lender to file an application. This money can be used for payroll, inventory, working capital, etc. For more information about the loans, qualification and how to apply, contact EDDFinance@state.nm.us.
Governor Lujan Grisham stated, “We will take responsibility for state systems being behind the ball in responding to this pandemic…we are fixing these systems and getting assistance out to New Mexicans as expeditiously as we can.”
The state has also already launched a $100 million lending program for medium-sized companies that provides money from the Severance Tax Permanent Fund, approved by the State Investment Council and managed by Sun Mountain Capital; the program is called the NM Recovery Fund. For more information and to fill out an application go to https://sunmountaincapital.com/new-mexico-recovery-fund/.
Alicia J. Keyes, cabinet secretary of the Economic Development Department, said these programs “are providing some stability and bridge funding until federal assistance arrives.”
New Mexico State government officials are urging small business owners to apply to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which is a federal assistance program that allows businesses to borrow up $2 million and can provide an immediate advance up to $10,000.