13 Diverse Communities Receive Grants to Attract and Grow Businesses
23 Jun 2023
LEADS Program Funds Sustainable Projects for Economic Growth
SANTA FE, N.M. – Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today that 13 communities across the state will receive grants for projects designed to promote economic growth. The LEADS, Local Economic Assistance & Development Support, program provides grants annually for economic development projects that produce sustainable outcomes.
“This is a great program because it produces quick results for the local area and helps a number of diverse New Mexico communities with their specific needs,” EDD Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said. “Once again we have been able to fund projects in almost every corner of New Mexico.”
Projects are awarded $5,000 to $25,000 per cycle on a post-performance basis. Eligible applicants are part of an economic development effort that includes both public and private participation and has demonstrated its capacity to facilitate economic growth; have an up-to-date economic development plan that supports business development; and have passed the Local Economic Development Act.
Eligible projects must achieve specific economic development objectives of job creation, expansion of the tax base, or business development initiatives with measurable outcomes. The project must be consistent with the community’s adopted economic development plan, have a clear beginning and end, and an appropriate budget and timeline.
This year’s awards for FY2024 (beginning July 1, 2023):
Cibola Communities EDF will receive $15,000 for its annual business retention and expansion survey and visitation program.
City of Farmington will receive $12,000 to support the construction of a pavilion, a permanent outdoor space, for festivals and the weekly farmer’s market.
Clovis EDC will receive $12,500 toward re-establishing a facility to support business incubation and acceleration at its Business Enterprise Center.
Greater Gallup EDC will receive $25,000 for its annual business retention and expansion (BRE) program which includes visits with local businesses and a business survey.
GrowRaton! will receive $25,000 for a farmers market certification program. The program will educate growers and food manufacturers on food safety and achieving NM Grown Approved Supplier status. GrowRaton! previously received a LEADS award to build a new website and other virtual marketing tools.
Lea County will receive $15,000 for a conceptual design and layout for an industrial park.
Los Alamos CDC will receive $25,000 to enhance the Los Alamos Business Accelerator which provides a skills-building curriculum, mentorship from the broader Los Alamos ecosystem, and a real-world platform to test market viability. This year’s $25,000 grant will be used to support the Food & Beverage Residency Program Pilot with the purchase of necessary kitchen equipment. The kitchen will operate out of the Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op.
Mesilla Valley Economic Development Association (MVEDA) will receive $25,000 to implement recommendations from a previous study (funded by a prior LEADS grant) to enhance the capacity for advanced manufacturers in the New Mexico Borderplex. The grant will be used for two initiatives - one to upskill the local workforce and the other to directly assist manufacturers with automation.
Middle Rio Grande Economic Development Association (MRGEDA) will receive $12,000 to continue to enhance the Socorro Regional Commercial Kitchen.
Questa EDF will receive $25,000 to improve resources already available at the Questa Business Center. The center supports the entrepreneurial community by providing workspaces, a meeting space, computer center, and virtual training area, as well as opportunities to learn from a team of specialists in their fields, including business acumen.
Roswell-Chaves County EDC will receive $25,000 for its annual face-to-face visitation program with local businesses.
Sandoval Economic Alliance (SEA) will receive $15,000 for its Economic Gardening Program, begun several years ago, and to research the cost and requirements to convert a prior call center space to a lab, data center, or manufacturing facility.
Truth or Consequences MainStreet will receive $10,600 to continue a project begun with a LEADS grant two years ago ($7,400). In 2021, T or C created and implemented an extensive survey to determine how they could improve resources for their local business community. Based on the survey results, T or C will use the current grant to conduct workshops and training sessions for businesses that want to improve their e-commerce platforms.
For assistance and to learn more about LEADS, find your EDD regional economic development professional here.