NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico State University announced the College of Business will house a resource hub dedicated to promoting business expansion and economic development near New Mexico’s southern border regions. NMSU says planning is underway for the Center for Border Economic Development.
“C-BED will identify impediments to border business expansion and economic development and bring to bear the resources of NMSU to help overcome those impediments,” said Christopher Erickson in a news release, head of NMSU’s Department of Economics, Applied Statistics and International Business.
The center will first identify what’s stalling economic growth in the region. They will provide resources for businesses to over those challenges. University officials say recent expansion in international trade hasn’t necessarily led to more jobs and they want to find out why. The center is currently in its early stages but organizers hope they can help spur growth in Doña Ana, Luna, and Hidalgo counties.
According to a news release, Erickson will fund the center’s first year with funding associated with the Garrey E. and Katherine T. Carruthers Chair in Economic Development and additional funding will come from the NMSU Community Outreach work-study program. NMSU hired, Lucinda Vargas, a former Federal Reserve economist, and postdoc researcher, to help launch the center.
“A key aim of C-BED is to address a void that exists right now when it comes to data and resources on border economic development,” Vargas said in the same news release. “NMSU’s strategic location along the U.S.-Mexico border needs to be more fully exploited in terms of opportunities for applied research and cross-border collaborations that capitalize on its border context. C-BED can step in to help bring a lot of these opportunities to fruition.”
According to the news release, the first project Erickson and Vargas will create is a database of resources for border businesses facing economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. The database will be accessible for free on a public website.