Connecting the Dots.
The Northwest NM Council of Governments (COG) builds from a foundation of planning, institutional context, and expertise to incorporate strategic innovation and propel regional competitiveness.
The COG has supported the planning and development needs of Northwest NM for close to forty years. The COG has a dual designation as a quasi-governmental and regional planning agency for the State of NM Local Government Division and the US Economic Development Administration as a Planning and Development District and a Economic Development District, respectively. The COG assists with local and regional planning and development initiatives in Northwest NM, encompassing the counties of San Juan, McKinley, and Cibola. The COG works on behalf of its members governments and their customized annual work plans to uplift the region through coordination.
U.S. Economic Development Administration, for a three-county region (San Juan, McKinley, and Cibola counties). The Council of Governments produces a five-year, regional economic plan, entitled the Northwest NM Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies, which development economic strategies for targeted industry recruitment and cluster development, workforce and social capital development, housing, downtown revitalization, tourism, entrepreneurship, industrial park development, and several other strategies for an innovative, regional economy. The Council of Governments also:
- produces and disseminates economic and socio-economic data and research;
- facilitates economic planning projects and feasibility studies;
- develops funding strategies and administers grantwriting for member government projects;
- advocates for key legislation to improve the business climate locally and at the state level; and
- acts as a conduit and catalyst for community-based economic development.
The Council of Government also administers the Enterprise Loan Fund (ELF), which makes loans to new and growing businesses through “gap” or “bridge” financing. It is the intent of this fund to fill the gap in financing by partnering with a bank or other lending agency. Typically the ELF program can lend up to 50 percent of the total project cost and cannot exceed $150,000. Average loans are $38,000. Job creation is a primary goal of the ELF with a target of one job created or saved for every $25,000 borrowed.