Thousands of businesses apply for up to $50,000 in grant money

Coronavirus New Mexico

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – $100 million in federal grant money is available to local, small businesses that have taken a hit during the pandemic and applications are quickly pouring in.

“By 12:04 we had our first application submitted, so it took someone four minutes to get their information in. By 6:00, so within the first six hours, we had 3,000 applications submitted. It’s now been a little over 48 hours and we are just under 6,000 applications,” said Marquita Russel,
CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority.

Russel says based on the applications the NMFA has received so far, she believes the $100 million in federal CARES Act money will be able to help 10,000 New Mexico businesses. “We have limited dollars $100 million is a lot of money but it’s not enough to serve the number of businesses that have suffered some impact during this year,” said Russel.

Businesses will be awarded grant amounts based upon the number of individuals they employ. The grant amounts are as follows according to the New Mexico Finance Authority:

  • Employees Grant Amount:
    • 0 $2,000
    • 1-5 $10,000
    • 6-15 $15,000
    • 16-25 $25,000
    • 26-40 $30,000
    • 41-60 $40,000
    • 61-75 $45,000
    • 76-100 $50,000

All $100 million has to be awarded by the end of 2020. To get the money out faster, while still giving businesses that need it more time, Russel developed a three-round system.

“One of the things we saw was some states opening applications on a first come first served basis and the money was gone in the first few days. We know it may take information a bit longer to get out to all New Mexico businesses and want to give them time to get the docs they need,” said Russel.

To possibly be awarded a chunk of $40 million, businesses must get their applications in by noon on Dec. 10. The second round will dole out $35 million and closes at noon on Dec. 15. The third round will split up the remaining $25 million and ends on the final deadline of noon on Dec. 18.

Russel says business owners should not let the high number of businesses that have already applied, discourage them from applying. “Don’t let the number of applications we’ve received stop a business from applying because we’re going to look at the impact of each of these applications and make a determination based on economic impact. So, if it’s a small business that’s been really hit hard, don’t feel defeated,” said Russel.

Right now, the NMFA is processing applications and each will then be put through a fraud filter. Russel says the first awards will start going out next week and all recipients will know how much they got by the end of the year. Russel also says instead of calling the NMFA for help, business owners should first make sure their web browser is up to date and also read through the FAQ section.

For more information or how to apply, visit nmfinance.com/cares-continuity-grants.

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