Mayor Keller announces program providing economic relief for micro-businesses

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and city officials held a press conference on Monday, March 30 to discuss the local response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mayor Keller began the briefing by discussing a fire alarm at City Hall that took place just before the meeting. A pipe broke on the 11th floor that resulted in damage to wiring.

On Saturday, the New Mexico Department of Health announced two online tools for COVID-19 testing and self-screening.

Over the weekend, President Trump announced the extension of social distancing guidelines to April 30. Mayor Keller stated the public can expect another month of COVID-19 guidelines that are already in place.

There have been no city services changes since Saturday which was when ART bus service ended.

The City of Albuquerque is going to put out a second health declaration so it can legally perform electronic signatures for city business.

The City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department and the mayor announced the $500,000 Micro-Business Relief Program that will provide assistance to businesses in Albuquerque who suffered a loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The city will provide grants of up to $5,000 to businesses affected by COVID-19 and will be targeting micro-businesses that have five or fewer employees.

Qualifying businesses must be registered and physically located in Albuquerque city limits and must have experienced financial hardship stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. The businesses must have been in business for at least six months and grand funds must be deposited into a business bank account ad only used for business expenses.

Business owners must also provide a report about the use and results of the grant funds six months after receipt. Businesses that are franchises or are restricted to customers over the age of 18 or older, such as smoke shops and bars, are not eligible.

Starting on Monday, March 30, the City of Albuquerque will be accepting applications for the program.

The program will support things such as payroll and losses resulting from the destabilization of events. To apply for the Micro Business Relief Program, visit the City of Albuquerque’s website.

The Planning Department is still currently operating and is accepting permits and performing inspections. While review cycles are taking longer, there are no other changes to the department.

The majority of planning and zoning submissions can be handled through the city’s website. There are also physical drop boxes that are available for planners who need to submit applications in a printed, paper format.

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