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Mayor Keller Boosting Outdoor Retail with Grant Program

After hundreds of restaurants participated in City program, ABQ stepping up to help local retail utilize outdoor space, keep doors open during pandemic

Aug. 26, 2020

On the heels of a successful restaurant grant program that saw hundreds of restaurants take advantage of financial support to expand patio, sidewalk, or parking lot dining as a way to keep afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Tim Keller is expanding that support to the retail industry. A new City grant program will help local Albuquerque businesses take advantage of outdoor retail space. 

“Sector-by-sector, we’re working to keep the bottom from falling out of the local economy. From construction, to restaurants, to the arts, we’ve stepped up for local business and helped save countless jobs. Now we’re expanding that help to struggling local retailers,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

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. The Keller administration has also waived or deferred some fees for inspections, permitting, and business registration, amounting to more than $1 million in additional stimulus. By fast-tracking construction projects, the City has put $120 million into making sure local construction workers continue to earn a paycheck. And almost 200 local restaurants have worked with the City’s free permitting process to expand outdoor dining on sidewalks, patios, and parking lots all over Albuquerque, with 80 receiving $281,000 in grants to help fund the effort.

The City is expanding its efforts through this new outdoor retail grant program. The Economic Development Department will work in coordination with other City departments to identify and provide financial support ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to local retail businesses with viable plans to mitigate business interruption losses by expanding the outdoor shopping options for their customers. There is a total of $100,000 available.

Utilizing funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the City is making grants available to support retail businesses expand into:

  • Public sidewalks,
  • Parklets,
  • Private parking lots, and
  • Limited street closures.

Retail businesses can find out more about the grant funding process by going to In order to receive a grant, businesses must meet eligibility requirements, which can be found on the website.