Help is on the way for small businesses in San Juan County through the New Mexico Small Business Continuity Grant.
The cities of Farmington, Aztec, Bloomfield and town of Kirtland and San Juan County applied for and have been awarded more than $3.9 million to be disbursed to small businesses that have sustained losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
The governmental entities will receive federal CARES Act money from the state of New Mexico out of a total of $50 million available, statewide. Businesses that apply and are approved will also receive funding on a reimbursement of costs basis.
Warren Unsicker, director of economic development and outdoor industry initiatives with the city of Farmington, said Farmington’s share of the grant money would be about $1.4 million and that would help about 200 small businesses.
“The smallest of the small businesses are really the hardest hit from the pandemic, and we’ve been able to help them with federal programs like the (Paycheck Protection Program),” he said. “But as those programs are phasing out, we’ve heard a lot of businesses need another shot in the arm and they are wary of taking on additional debt, so a grant program is ideal.”
Businesses are eligible for money from the governmental organization to which they are registered, on a first-come, first-served basis and contingent upon eligibility.
Businesses must hold a valid business registration or license to apply for funding and must have been in operation as of March 1, 2019. The businesses must fill out a form, provide some basic information and meet basic criteria to be eligible.
The grants will be up to $5,000 to $10,000 per business, based on the number of full-time equivalent employees currently working.
To qualify, businesses must be located in San Juan County, Aztec, Bloomfield, Farmington or Kirtland; have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees; and have annual revenue of $2 million or less before the impact of the pandemic.
Businesses with between one and 10 employees may apply for up to $5,000. Businesses with 11 to 50 employees may apply for up to $10,000.
Nonprofit organizations that meet the criteria may also apply.
Grant money must be spent on eligible business continuity or business redesign expenses. Business Continuity Grants may be spent on nonowner employee payroll, rent, scheduled mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, marketing and other fixed expenses related to the business operations.
Business Redesign Grants may be spent on items such as installing Plexiglass barriers, purchasing web-conferencing or other technology to facilitate working at home, buying personal protection equipment for employees, reconfiguring physical spaces or adding temporary structures to meet state guidelines established for small businesses to open during the pandemic.
Grantees will be required to submit receipts for expenditures to receive reimbursement under these grants. Expenditures can be incurred anytime from March 1 to Dec. 30 based on CARES Act requirements and Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidelines.
For information about the grant process, including dates that applications will be accepted, contact the governmental entity under which the business is licensed.
Check the websites of each individual government entity to apply for the grants.