SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed legislation that will allow the state to waive annual liquor license fees as businesses struggle to rebound amid the pandemic. The governor said the food and beverage industry is a key piece of the state’s economy.

“These businesses anchor so many of our communities — and as we continue to move ever closer to ending the worst of this pandemic, I am confident this state support will help as they bounce back as quickly as possible,” she said in a statement.

Under the legislation, the next annual fee for renewed liquor licenses and for all new licenses issued in this year will be waived. With license fees topping as much as several thousand dollars annually, state officials estimate the waivers will save businesses in New Mexico roughly $3.5 million.

The governor also has signed other relief measures passed by the Legislature this session, including a bill that makes available $200 million in grants to small businesses, another providing $500 million in low-cost loans and a four-month gross receipts tax holiday for food and drink establishments.