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Mayor Keller Announces Business Relief Program to Ease the Impacts of COVID-19

Offering $500,000 in grants for Albuquerque micro-businesses from City Economic Development Department

March 30, 2020

Today Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department announced a $500,000 Micro-Business Relief Program to provide vital economic support to Albuquerque businesses needing assistance in overcoming the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The City of Albuquerque will provide working capital grants of up to $5,000 for qualifying small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The City of Albuquerque will begin accepting applications today, Monday, March 30, 2020.

“Through the Micro-Business Relief Program, we’re supporting small businesses across Albuquerque that are hurting because of COVID-19. We reached out to business leaders and organizations to develop this program and fill a gap for small companies so they can stay afloat,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Albuquerque small businesses are vital not only to our economy, but to the vibrant fabric of our community. The next few months will be tough, and we’re committed to supporting our local economy through this unprecedented and uncertain time.”

The City of Albuquerque Micro-Business Relief Program is a grant program offering up to $5,000 in direct assistance to individual small businesses meeting eligibility requirements to use to sustain operating costs during and after COVID-19. Requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • The business must have 5 or fewer employees, including the owner/s.
  • The business must be registered and physically located within the Albuquerque city limits.
  • The business must have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.
  • The business must have been in business for at least 6 months.
  • Grant funds must be deposited into a business bank account and only be used for business expenses. The City of Albuquerque will make electronic deposits.
  • Business owners must agree to provide a report about the use and results of the grant funds six months after receipt.
  • Businesses that are franchises or restricted to patrons above the age of 18 or older will not be eligible for award (for example, bars or smoke shops).

Applications are available in English and Spanish, and in other languages upon request. The Economic Development Department has staff available to assist business owners complete the application, including Spanish-speaking assistance. Applications will be reviewed as they are received until the monies have been expended.

“Our primary goal is to help the businesses most directly impacted by the disruptions caused by COVID-19. We know that many of our smallest businesses don’t have enough cash flow to withstand closing their doors for weeks. Now more than ever, we must rally behind and support our entrepreneurs and provide them the flexibility and resources they need to minimize the economic impacts of the Coronavirus,” said Synthia Jaramillo, Director of Economic Development, City of Albuquerque. “We recognize that this program will only be part of the solution for most small businesses.”

The City of Albuquerque Micro-Business Relief Program and other efforts are meant to complement the Federal and State COVID-19 response programs already in place. As of March 27, 2020, the New Mexico Economic Development Department is offering a Business Loan Guarantee Program and LEDA Zero-Percent Interest Loans to qualified businesses. The NM State Investment Council is developing a line of credit for medium and large businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing long term low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories. The Fulcrum Fund is awarding $60,000 in emergency relief grants, providing $1,000 to 60 local artists who have lost income as a result of cancellations due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Government passed at $2 trillion stimulus bill to provide relief to families and businesses.

Resource Guide

In addition to the Micro-Business Relief Program, the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department has put together a resource guide for businesses navigating through COVID-19. The resource guide includes information and resources to other COVID-19 financial assistance relief programs, as well as tips for businesses, organizations, and workers.

Webinar on Business Resources

On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 10:00am (MST) the City of Albuquerque Small Business Office, a division of the Economic Development Department, will host at virtual webinar to provide current information about Federal, State and City financial assistance and lending programs as well as other resources available to Albuquerque businesses, creatives, and nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19. Business owners can participate in the webinar via zoom at:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/878281134?pwd=TWNQTVczcmdLQnZJSCtlaTlEcUNJZz09

Meeting ID: 878 281 134
Password: 027685

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Meeting ID: 878 281 134
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/aqeqJ012l

Support Local Businesses

The City also continues to urge residents to support local businesses. One thing Burqueños can do, is to tell your community about the small businesses you’re supporting.

The request is simple, fun, and a great way to stay connected with friends, coworkers, and loved ones. Residents can post their pictures of their delivery and takeout and challenge others on social media to join them in the challenge. We’re also asking small businesses to tag us in posts and we’ll be sure to help spread the word about businesses that are open for delivery, take out, and/or drive-through service. Use #SupportLocalABQ and tag @CABQEconDev.

If residents do go out to pick up food, we are reminding them to remember to practice social distancing. Stand 6’ apart in queues and maintain the distance from others, don’t gather at local businesses, and remember to keep groups to no more than 5. Burqueños should remember to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap after being out in public.

For more information on all our efforts to support Albuquerque small businesses during COVID-19, and to apply to the Micro-Business Relief Program visit: https://www.cabq.gov/economicdevelopment/ or call 505-768-3270.

Coronavirus Information

All City of Albuquerque information on the Coronavirus can be found at https://www.cabq.gov/coronavirus-information