Resources for Small Businesses/Workers

Together Las Cruces Relief Fund

The worldwide health pandemic of COVID-19 has impacted millions of families across the nation. The Las Cruces community has faced an economic downturn in response to state-mandated orders, and local tourism and hospitality service workers are among the largest group to feel the effect. Thanks to a group of local restauranteurs, business owners, and philanthropists, residents of Doña Ana county won’t be fighting this battle alone – Together Las Cruces is available to assist families during this time of need.https://www.communityfoundationofsouthernnewmexico.com/together-las-cruces/

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions strives to be a leader in improving employment and poverty rates through workforce development, enhanced services for employers, and ensuring fair labor practices and workforce protections for New Mexicans. In this site, you can access career resources and services, apply or certify for Unemployment Insurance benefits find information about your legal rights as a worker, minimum wage, working as a teen, discrimination, and more. https://www.dws.state.nm.us/en-us/ A list of agency phone numbers is available here: https://www.dws.state.nm.us/Contact

The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at SBA.gov/Disaster. For inquiries about disaster loans, call 1-800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. You can also use a text telephone (TTY) by calling 1-800-877-8339.

The State of New Mexico is adjusting its business-loan guarantee programs in order to make capital more available to business owners whose operations are severely impacted by the COVID-19 health emergency.

https://gonm.biz/about-us/covid-19-response/

Phone: 1-505-827-0300

The closure of businesses, cancellation of events, and the prohibition of large gatherings may result in individuals being dismissed or suspended from work through no fault of their own; certain workers may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

https://www.newmexico.gov/jobs-the-economy/

Phone: 1-833-551-0518

The Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring this rapidly developing situation.

https://www.lascruces.org/covid-19-resources/

Phone: 1-575-524-1969

The Las Cruces Hispanic Chamber of Commerce provides business programs and services that will expand and mature investments, job opportunities, education, community service, wellness, and activity in Las Cruces.

https://www.lascruceshispanicchamber.com/

Phone: 1-575-524-8900

Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce: Fostering the success of local economies and promoting businesses committed to environmental and social responsibility.

https://locallascruces.com/

Phone: 1-575-323-1575

State secures SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

for businesses affected by COVID-19

Small Business Administration offers loans up to $2M in all 33 counties 

SANTA FE – The state of New Mexico has qualified for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Assistance program to assist businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced today. 

The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans up to $2M for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

“We are dedicated to assisting every business that we can to endure the significant hardship this emergency has already caused,” Lujan Grisham said. “This SBA loan program is one of several tools to help businesses remain resilient and continue servicing their communities into the future.”

These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

“The economic well-being of all New Mexicans affected by this disaster is our number one priority,” Alicia J. Keyes, Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary, said. “We’re proud that New Mexico is one of the first states to announce the availability of this loan program statewide.” 

The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

“I’m encouraged by the collaboration between New Mexico’s Economic Development Department and the SBA Disaster Team to rapidly make this recovery funding available to small businesses and nonprofits statewide,” SBA South Central Regional Administrator Justin Crossie said. “SBA joins a whole-of-government-effort to combat the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and minimize any economic disruption to New Mexico’s 155,000 small businesses, who employ more than half the state’s workforce.”

There are two ways to learn more and begin a loan application:

If you elect to submit a hard-copy application, you may do so by mail to the following address:

    U.S. Small Business Administration
    Processing and Disbursement Center
    14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155

For more information on SBA resources, including additional loan programs, please visit www.sba.gov.

For more general information on the state’s response to COVID-19 and additional resources for businesses and workers affected by the fallout, visit www.newmexico.gov.

Small businesses that consist of Barbers and Cosmetologists are not mandated to close unless the businesses is in an indoor mall.
Review Public Health Order in Effect as of March 19, 2020

Community Development Department Encourages Interactive Video Inspection

The City of Las Cruces Community Development Department has established standard operating procedures for interactive video inspection. In light of COVID-19 the Community Development Department encourages City residents to utilize Interactive Video Inspection.

Interactive Video Inspection is an alternative to on-site inspections that require prompt service, a follow up after an initial on-site inspection or schedule a more specific inspection time. Interactive Video Inspection uses a video call on a 4G smartphone or tablet in order to interact with the City inspector. People who want to use Interactive Video Inspection will need to install the free Google Duo app to be able to interface.

The process for Interactive Video Inspection is as follows:

  • Schedule your Interactive Video Inspection.
  • The City inspector will initiate the Interactive Video Inspection call to you at the time scheduled on your chosen platform, or app, and the inspector will walk you through the video call.
  • The day after the inspection, results will be available on Accela.
  • Small projects.
  • Rooftop solar (photovoltaic projects).
  • Electrical service upgrades.
  • Electrical reconnects.
  • Water heaters.
  • Gas line installations.
  • Parking shade structures.
  • Detached storage sheds.
  • Residential construction, except roof nailing and intermediates.
  • Follow-up inspections (must verify with the inspector).

New inspection types are always being added. Ask your City inspector if your project qualifies. City residents and commercial builders should note that based on the size and/or the complexity of a project, it may not be possible to complete the inspection via Interactive Video Inspection. In that case, the remote City inspector will partially approve the inspection and make every effort to route a field City inspector to complete the inspection the same day. If this is not possible, the City inspector will schedule a field inspection for the next business day.

To learn more about Interactive Video Inspection, call the Community Development Department at 575/528-3043 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

New Mexico suspends home evictions, offers business loans

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Supreme Court halted all housing evictions for failure to pay rent on Tuesday as health authorities began enforcing an order for people to stay home with few exceptions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Confirmed infections for COVID-19 reached 100, with new positive tests spread across seven counties, from the southern Las Cruces area to the counties along the Arizona state line that are home to large Native American populations.

At the same time, state investment authorities approved a credit line of up to $100 million to help businesses with 50 employees or more meet payroll obligations and avoid layoffs amid the economic turmoil from the contagion.

The actions took place as the state prohibited most gatherings of more than five people and shut down a variety of nonessential businesses where personnel cannot otherwise work from home.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura said in a statement that temporary relief is needed to prevent evictions due to economic hardship as workplaces close down. Tenants hoping to avoid eviction must present evidence of their inability to pay rent to a judge.

New Mexico’s congressional delegation announced the release of $1.7 million in federal grant money to 16 community health centers across the state from an emergency spending package approved in early March.

The State Investment Council overseen by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham voted unanimously to channel assets from the state’s Severance Tax Permanent Fund toward economic recovery loans for medium-sized and large businesses.

The investment council oversees two multibillion-dollar endowments that support public education, other government services and infrastructure projects. The state already channels endowment funds toward small business loans through the Small Business Investment Corporation.

Lujan Grisham emphasized the importance of providing financial support to the hospitality industry and others companies in “dire straits,” as business revenues plummet ahead of the summer tourism season. The investment council met by teleconference as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.

Some council members objected to offering emergency loans to employers who are headquartered outside the state and worried that interest rates may be pegged too high — or that $100 million might not satisfy demands. Many details of the program will be voted on separately in coming weeks.

Larger diversions from the Severance Tax Permanent Fund or Land Grant Permanent Fund require a state constitutional amendment that involves approval by the Legislature and a statewide vote.

“I don’t think it’s enough, I think it’s a start,” said State Treasurer and commission member Tim Eichenberg, who argued for low rates of interest on recovery loans. “If we just break even, we’ve done a service to the people of New Mexico.”

In another sign of strained public finances, total assets overseen by the State Investment Council fell to just under $24 billion this week from about $28 billion in January as financial markets reeled from the COVID-19 pandemic.