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SANTA FE, N.M. – The New Mexico Economic Development Department has announced the recipients of this year’s LEADS grants, as well as three organizations that will split $75,000 for their programs supporting entrepreneurs working from home, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

The Local Economic Assistance & Development Support Program (LEADS) supports economic development projects that produce positive outcomes. Projects may be awarded up to $25,000 on a cost reimbursement contract. Eligible applicants must be part of an economic development program, have passed the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA), and have an up-to-date plan that supports business development and job growth.

Recipients of LEADS grants in Fiscal Year 2020 resulted in: 100 new jobs in Rio Rancho; six new jobs created by entrepreneurs in San Juan County; two new outdoor recreation businesses in Farmington, after the city used its grant to renovate a downtown warehouse; five new businesses in Santa Fe; five rural counties received training specific to successful rural entrepreneurship resulting in 28 businesses accessing $312,600 in capital; 10 new food businesses in the South Valley; 422 new jobs in Doña Ana County, along with $14.9 million in new payroll; and 125 new jobs in Lovington created by a hemp production company.

“This type of collaboration between the Economic Development Department and our partners is crucial to help communities across the state create jobs and support businesses,” Keyes said. “There is a new era of entrepreneurship in New Mexico and we are seeing it in these strong ideas that can now move forward with LEADS.”

2021 LEADS Awards:

Town of Mountainair: $2,730

The Town of Mountainair will purchase presentation equipment and materials for the Mountainair Multi-Purpose Building, which will transform an existing open space building into a functional training center.

Grow Raton: $9,020

Grow Raton’s project will provide workforce development services for businesses in the hospitality sector, covering a broad set of needs and requirements including: cleaning and controls pertaining to COVID-19 safety; customized tourism training modules for Northeastern New Mexico; and compliance training.

Greater Tucumcari EDC (GTEC): $25,000

GTEDC will develop an interactive kiosk to be placed at the Glenrio Visitors Center, Tucumcari Chamber of Commerce, and select restaurants and motels to allow business travelers to tell their story.

Greater Gallup EDC (GGEDC): $25,000

GGEDC’s attraction strategy is to target businesses which diversify the local economy and can be supported by the local community infrastructure. GGEDC will participate in trade shows and sales missions, and will expand its local business, retention, and expansion efforts.

Mesilla Valley EDA (MVEDA): $25,000

MVEDA is seeking to expand its target industry marketing efforts, more closely matching state investments, into newly developing sectors, including video game development, hemp production, and outdoor recreation. They will use the LEADS grant for trade shows, research, and sales missions to attract companies in these sectors.

Santa Fe County: $10,000

Santa Fe County will procure two software platforms for the purposes of tracking county businesses, business data, and for tracking available real estate throughout the county. The software for tracking businesses will support the county’s business retention and expansion efforts. The real estate software will provide a platform for Realtors to upload information on available properties which can be used to attract new business.

Lovington EDC: $8,000

The Lovington EDC will use GIS software to build and showcase the community’s building and land inventory database. The software projects data points such as population, climate, labor, workforce, industry, job growth, incentives, education, healthcare, and more. The building and land inventory will function as an invaluable tool in the community’s business recruitment efforts.

MainStreet T or C: $10,637

Downtown Truth Or Consequences has many vacant buildings it would like to fill in order to create a more viable and attractive commercial district. MainStreet T or C will identify underutilized non-residential properties in the downtown area, engage owners in revitalizing the property, and determine the market potential for each site.

Cibola Communities EDF (CCEDF): $15,000

CCEDF is focused on business retention and expansion with this award, visiting and surveying up to three local businesses each week. The organization will also host virtual meetings to disseminate information to existing businesses regarding funding and financing resources to increase productivity and profitability.

Roswell-Chaves County EDC: $25,000

Roswell-Chaves County EDC will use its grant for business attraction, retention, and expansion, and real estate and workforce development. They will participate in trade shows and sales missions, support the local Façade Grant program, and seek Site Certification for the Roswell International Air Center, thereby making it more attractive and marketable. The EDC will also work with Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell and the Department of Workforce Solutions to collaboratively create a Career Technical Education program in Chaves County.

Sandoval Economic Alliance (SEA): $25,000

SEA has developed a business retention and expansion program named C.O.R.E. (Community Opportunities through Retention and Expansion) which helps local economic-base companies grow. Funds will also be used for a pilot Economic Gardening program which guides businesses through the steps to identify current strengths and challenges, connect them with financial and business resources, and help grow their market presence and sales.

Santa Fe Business Incubator (SFBI): $25,000

SFBI will use its funding for its Runway pre-incubation program which assists early idea stage entrepreneurs in assessing the market potential of their idea and equipping them with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

WESST: $25,000

WESST will continue its efforts to support rural business development in 5 counties -- Taos, Mora, San Miguel, Santa Fe, and Rio Arriba -- utilizing a creative entrepreneurship program. The goal of the project is to facilitate and promote market access for goods produced by creative entrepreneurs in rural New Mexico.

Rio Grande CDC & South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC): $25,000

SVEDC’s Solopreneur program is a low-cost entrée to business development, adapted to COVID-19 standards through virtual business coaching and support. Scheduled weekly sessions with staff pinpoint help and access to resources based on the individual client’s business needs and strengths, crafting personalized goals through a set of startup benchmarks.

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