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City Backs Bueno Foods and Affordable Solar Economic Development Projects

Approximately 140 new jobs, plus construction positions will be created

June 7, 2021

City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department (EDD) projects supporting Bueno Foods and Affordable Solar in Albuquerque are proceeding after passing unanimously at today’s City Council meeting. The Bueno Foods project includes Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) and Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funds. The Affordable Solar project includes IRBs and LEDA funding.

The Bueno Foods and Affordable Solar projects will support the businesses with expansions, creating opportunities for residents through new jobs created and construction positions, as well as infusing adjacent industries, such as lodging and dining.

“Teamwork at every level has brought these projects to completion and we thank the City Council for approving support for local businesses,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Supporting local businesses is a key component to economic recovery in Albuquerque, and the jobs Affordable Solar and Bueno Foods will create will help our city bounce back after a tough year.”

Today, City Council approved the agreement for a $500,000 Affordable Solar LEDA grant from the State, for which the City will act as fiscal agent. The City of Albuquerque will also contribute $125,000 in LEDA funding. City Council previously approved for $7.578 million in IRBs for Affordable Solar as well.

Affordable Solar plans to use the funding to finance the redevelopment, renovation, and rehabilitation of their business site, consisting of approximately 3.522 acres of land and an office building. As a result of the site expansion, Affordable Solar will create 95 high-paying economic base jobs with average salaries over $64,000, of which 90% will be current Albuquerque area residents. The projected jobs will be created over a five-year period.

“The Affordable Solar team is very excited about our expansion and consolidation plan,” said Shawn Ricketts, Affordable Solar’s chief financial officer. “We are very thankful for the support of both the state and the city in our continued commitment to help meet the nation’s, as well as New Mexico’s, renewable energy goals.”

“Throughout the pandemic, we never stopped our work helping to retain and expand Albuquerque’s existing businesses,” said Economic Development Director Synthia Jaramillo. “Part of our comprehensive recovery plan in 2021 and beyond is continuing to make these robust incentives available to boost company growth and the creation of new jobs.”

Bueno Foods, one of the largest producers of New Mexican and Mexican foods in the southwest, was previously approved for $500,000 in LEDA funds and received final approval from City Council today for $10,000,000 in IRBs. Bueno plans to invest the funds to construct a 25,000-square-foot freezer warehousemanufacturing facility. The LEDA grant funding will be provided by the State of New Mexico, with the City of Albuquerque acting as fiscal agent.

The Bueno Foods expansion would allow the company to increase its frozen foods sales in new and expanded markets outside of New Mexico, creating 49 full-time equivalent jobs over a five-year period, and adding 80 to 100 construction jobs—80% of which are expected to be filled locally.

IRBs are issued to support eligible economic development projects that meet established policies and plans. Recipient companies are responsible for funding the purchase of the bonds. City funds are not utilized to purchase or pay off the bonds, and no City credit is used to enhance the bonds.

LEDA allows public support of qualified economic development projects for existing expanding companies as well as newly recruited ones to foster, promote, and enhance local economic development efforts while continuing to protect against the unauthorized use of public money and other public resources.