ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Big changes are coming to downtown Albuquerque as there are going to be some new businesses thanks to grants provided by the city. Businesses in the area tell me they are excited to be a part of the revitalization of downtown.

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“Our owner chose this space, not only is it a big beautiful space with a lot of natural light, which is awesome for a plant-obsessed person,” said Buds and Beans General Manager Taj McCellon. “It’s an area in downtown that I guess kind of paused the pandemic.”

McCellon said she is excited to see the area come back to life.

The city of Albuquerque opened up the grant process last September, the city had $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to use toward grants up to $35,000 each for small businesses that occupy the vacant street-level property or that expand a downtown storefront by at least 50%.

There are six of those businesses on Gold Avenue alone that received funding whereas the others are in nearby areas, Executive Director of Warehouse 508 said he is also happy to be part of the revitalization, and that this pedestrian-friendly area, as it has a lot of amenities not only for them but for their customers. “I think that’s that that downtown has such a great opportunity to be, you know, just a vibrant area for entertainment and just having fun,” said Thierry Gonzalez.

Certain businesses aren’t eligible for the grants, which include smoke shops, marijuana shops, adult entertainment, or liquor stores.