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Keller Administration Delivers First Round of $10 Million in Small Business Grants

Grants to 97 local businesses funded by CARES Act

Nov. 14, 2020

In the first of several rounds, the City of Albuquerque disbursed $10,000 grants to nearly 100 local businesses today—critical support for the local economy at a time when spiking cases are forcing shutdowns and closures again. The 97 grants, totaling $970,000 in economic relief to local small businesses and locally owned franchisees, are funded by a $10 million Small Business Economic Relief Grant Program, with one-time grants of up to $10,000 made available to businesses with less than 50 full-time employees who have been impacted by the current public health emergency.

“This pandemic has been devastating to local businesses and workers—and it’s not going away. We’re getting money into the hands of small businesses all over Albuquerque to help them keep afloat in this crisis,” said Mayor Timothy M. Keller.

The first round of check disbursements took place Friday at John Marshall Health and Social Services Center, with City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department Small Business Office representatives and AmeriCorps volunteers delivering checks in a drive-through, COVID-safe setting. One of the many business owners who picked up their grant today was Chad Cooper, Principal of Operations at Tillman Cyber Services, an Albuquerque-based service-disabled veteran owned cybersecurity firm.

“Small businesses have taken a hit financially this year and the pandemic has forced many of us to be creative and flexible in how we deliver our services,” Cooper said. “These grants from the City will help our business community continue to be nimble and weather the storm to remain in business for when we return to normalcy, or what becomes our new normal.”

WATCH: Businesses pick up their checks on Friday at the John Marshall Center

For those unable to attend the pickup event, additional pickups will be available at John Marshall Health and Social Services Center every Friday through Dec. 18, from 1-4 p.m., except Nov. 27 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

An ordinance will be presented at the next City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 16 to allow businesses to be eligible for additional grant funds even if they have previously received some COVID-response funding from state, county, or municipal sources.

“Small businesses are still in need of assistance amid the pandemic,” said Synthia Jaramillo, director of the Economic Development Department. “We are making every effort to not only speed up Albuquerque’s economic recovery, but to ensure the funds are going to small businesses who are often hit the hardest by business disruptions.”

The second round of Small Business Economic Relief Grant Program applications opened Nov. 9 and closed last night at 11:59 p.m. The third round of applications will open Monday, Dec. 7, at 8 a.m., and will close Friday, Dec. 11, at 11:59 p.m.

Based on the City Council’s ordinance related to the grants, 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.

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.

Interested businesses may apply online at cabq.gov/economicdevelopment. 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 Dec. 30.