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City Opens Applications for New Small Business Grant Program

$7.5 million in ARPA funding will support Albuquerque economic recovery

Aug. 4, 2021

Today, Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department (EDD) opened applications for the Small Business + Entrepreneurial Recovery Grant Program—a new economic relief grant program available to local small businesses and non-profits. The $7.5 million program is funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Applications opened at 10 a.m. for the one-time $10,000 grants for businesses within Albuquerque city limits that have 50 employees or fewer, and meet other grant criteria.

“Last year was devastating for our small businesses. Our goal was to do anything and everything we could to support them and keep the bottom from falling out of the economy, including providing nearly $12 million in support through grants and free PPE,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “While we are making significant gains toward recovery, we know that things don’t turn around overnight for small businesses and we can’t turn our backs on them now. It’s time to double-down our commitment to the small businesses community so Albuquerque can emerge stronger than ever.”

The Small Business + Entrepreneurial Recovery Grant Program is available to Albuquerque small businesses in the following categories:

  • Family-Owned Business Grants
  • Mainstreet Business Grants
  • Hotels & Public Safety Grants
  • Arts & Entertainment Business Grants
  • Youth & Education Grants
  • Entrepreneurial & Start-Up Grants

In order for businesses to be eligible for Small Business + Entrepreneurial Recovery Grants, a business must have no more than 50 full-time employees including the owner (two part-time employees will be equivalent to one full-time employee); been in business on or before July 15, 2021; have a current and valid City of Albuquerque business registration license; be located within Albuquerque city limits; among other requirements. Businesses that previously received Covid-19 relief funds from other state, county, or municipal sources will still be able to receive funding.

“We’re thankful to the Keller Administration for allocating these funds for Albuquerque’s small businesses and the families that own, operate, and work at them,” said EDD Director Synthia R. Jaramillo. “These grants will aid in our City’s economic recovery, in addition to the robust programs and services we offer to local small businesses.”

Early in the pandemic, the City offered $750,000 in direct business support grants to 150 local businesses with the help of the One Albuquerque Fund, even before CARES Act funding was available. In addition, the City utilized nearly $1 million to purchase locally-sourced PPE, specifically for small businesses, and in the fall launched a $10 million small business grant program, awarding 1,000 businesses in Albuquerque with relief funding.

The Keller administration waived more than $1 million in small business fees in 2020, and by fast-tracking construction projects, the City invested $120 million to ensure local construction workers continued to earn a paycheck. More than 104 local restaurants received $364,500 in grants to expand outdoor seating, and the City invested nearly $100,000 to support local food businesses in Outdoor Food Truck Courts and Growers Markets.

“Keeping a small business alive is a difficult task. Restaurants in particular have had great challenges, and we thank the community for continuing to support small businesses,” said Mona Ghattas, owner and president of Duran’s Central Pharmacy. “The $10,000 grant from the City during last fall’s lockdown was very much appreciated, and we recognize all the help that the City of Albuquerque provided during Covid, especially the quick permits for outdoor eating.”

Upon successful completion of the application, grantees will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested businesses may apply online beginning August 4, 2021, at cabq.gov/RecoveryGrants. Paper applications will also be available for business owners who cannot access the online system. The application will be available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. All grants will be funded by October 1, 2021.