Statewide funding for Community Kitchens for Entrepreneurs Moves to the NM Senate
$300,000 in Funding to create jobs for food entrepreneurs across New Mexico
Albuquerque, N.M. – The NM House of Representatives has approved $300,000 to help rural communities put their underutilized community kitchens to support food entrepreneurs around New Mexico.
Based on a model of food incubation at the South Valley Economic Development Center’s Mixing Bowl kitchen in Albuquerque, this funding will support commercial kitchens with extra capacity and provide communities with the operational funding to bring in entrepreneurs and help them get new products developed and to markets.
“The Mixing Bowl kitchen has connections with food retailers who are looking to purchase more New Mexico-produced food, and has built a supportive community of over 120 food entrepreneurs who are willing to help others get started and grow their businesses,” said Tony Gallegos, CEO of the Mixing Bowl’s parent nonprofit. “Over the last five years, we’ve been approached by a dozen city, county, nonprofits, and tribal governments that have these great kitchen assets that could be used to help food entrepreneurs get their business started, and this funding will provide the capital to get them started.”
“New Mexico’s tradition of great food is a unique asset for the state,” said Representative Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup. “Family businesses have been the backbone of New Mexico’s economy for generations, and this program will make it possible for New Mexicans with a great recipe to very cost-effectively turn that skill into a way to support themselves and their families for years to come.”
“HB 56 is a perfect opportunity to support entrepreneurs and economic growth here in Grant County and all across New Mexico,” remarked Senator Howie Morales. “Small businesses have helped make New Mexico great and the Mixing Bowl model of food business incubation will grow many new businesses as well as support existing business.”
The Mixing Bowl has partnered with Delicious New Mexico to provide direct marketing, training, and product development support to entrepreneurs around the State, and is working with the Small Business Development Centers to provide business support, as well as Accion, WESST, and the NM Community LoanFund to provide startup capital for entrepreneurs.
According to an independent study by NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, just four additional community kitchens around New Mexico could generate 677 jobs over five years and create $16.4m in economic activity. A study by UNM’s Bureau of Business & Economic Research in 2010 found the Mixing Bowl Community Kitchen has proven to be one of the most cost effective job creation mechanisms in the state with a cost per job of under $3000.
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The Rio Grande Community Development Corporation, established in 1987, supports creating healthier communities through innovative projects in economic development, health care, education, and land use. Learn more at www.rgcdc.org.