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City Receives 589 Applications for $10 Million in Small Business Support

First deadline for applications ended Oct. 30, next round opens Nov. 9

The City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department received 589 applications in the first round of the $10 million Small Business Economic Relief Grant Program that ended Oct. 30. Under the program, which launched Monday, Oct. 26, the City is issuing one-time grants up to $10,000 to small businesses and locally owned franchisees within city limits who have been affected by the pandemic. 

“We are stepping up to help Albuquerque’s economy weather this pandemic and we want to get these funds to eligible businesses as soon as possible,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “More than 580 businesses have already completed their applications and others are encouraged to submit early in the next round.”

Upon successful completion of the application, grantees will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis unless the grants are oversubscribed. At that point, the City will employ a lottery system.

The City Council approved appropriations for the grants through funding provided by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Based on the City Council’s ordinance, to be eligible for the next round of support, 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 operating at least one year; be able to show economic hardship due to the pandemic; and have a current and valid City of Albuquerque business registration license; among other requirements. Ineligible businesses include any whose patrons must be age 18 or older and corporate-owned chains. Businesses that previously received COVID-19 relief funds from other state, county, or municipal sources will be able to receive funding up to an aggregate amount of $10,000.

As of today, 115 businesses do not qualify due to the funding cap. On Oct. 29, Councilor Lan Sena introduced amendment R-20-109, currently under consideration by the Council, that would increase the maximum grant amount to $20,000 from $10,000.

The next application round will be open Nov.9-13 and applications will be available at that time on in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. All grants will be funded by Dec. 30.