Rio Rancho seeing a boost from new businesses opening despite pandemic woes

Coronavirus New Mexico

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s no secret many businesses are struggling to stay afloat amid the pandemic, but one New Mexico city is celebrating a recent spike during this time. Rio Rancho’s mayor says the last two months have been very good for the city as they welcome new local and national businesses, even during the pandemic.

With the brand new opening of Dutch Brothers Coffee last month in Rio Rancho, it seemed to pave the way for more businesses to invest in the city. Mayor Gregg Hull says it’s no coincidence you’re seeing a lot more new businesses in the city.

“As we saw the pandemic take its course, we’ve been able to survive this pretty well and continuing to keep the economy on track here,” says Mayor Hull.

While it’s been no secret businesses have been closing since the start of the pandemic, Mayor Hull says it’s been a good two months for Rio Rancho. “This year has been very strong as we’ve seen a lot of business go ahead and come forward, despite the fact that we have the coronavirus,” he says.

Along with the existing Dutch Brothers on Unser, the coffee chain is also planning on opening another location near 528 and Barbara Loop. Then on Friday, Natural Grocers will open its doors on 528 near Southern.

However, it’s not only national chains showing their support for Rio Rancho. “I’d like to actually put something on the Rio Rancho side of the border, to try to keep some of that tax revenue into the city,” says Nico Ortiz.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company owner, Nico Ortiz, already has a location in the city, and has felt the negative effects of the pandemic. However, he believes right now is the best time to open up a new business and support his city. “At the end of the day, Rio Rancho is where I’ve been for 21 years, and there’s enough room in this town of 100,000 for another Turtle Mountain,” he says.

While Mayor Hull says Rio Rancho typically loses revenue from nearby Albuquerque, he believes these new openings is a step in the right direction. “Our vision is growth and we’re continuing in a way that adds quality of life,” he says.

Mayor Hull did acknowledge there were still a lot of places that closed in the city in the past few months. Right now, he’s encouraging existing businesses to contact the city to apply for small business grants to keep their doors open. The city says the extra revenue collected from these new businesses will eventually go toward the general fund that will help pay for road maintenance and public safety.


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