The CARES Act grant application and details are available for download on the city of Belen’s website, belen-nm.gov. You can also email [email protected] for more information or if you have questions.
This grant is available to qualifying small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees in Belen. The grant proceeds must be spent on eligible “business continuity” expenses.
In addition, you may qualify for additional funding for “business redesign” expenses necessary to adopt COVID safe practices.
To be eligible, your company must be headquartered in Belen, and either have been forced to close or severely curtail business operations as a result of closure orders from the state and have an annual revenue of $2 million or less prior to the impact of COVID-19. The business must have also had a start date of March 1, 2019, or prior.
Submit the grant application and all required documents to the city of Belen at [email protected] no later than Friday, Oct. 23. Or turn in your application at city hall on or before that date.
Applicants may be awarded up to $10,000 for qualifying expenses.
The CARES Act grants being administered by Valencia County will go to assist small businesses in unincorporated areas, as well as the town of Peralta, village of Bosque Farms and city of Rio Communities.
To request an application, email [email protected] or call 866-2097. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 30 on a first-come, first-served basis.
Information about the grant as well as the application, in English and Spanish, can be found on the county’s website.
Businesses need to submit an application as well as clear, legible documentation of expenses, such as invoices and canceled checks.
Once those are reviewed, the business and county will enter into an agreement for the allowed expenses, and the county will request the funds from the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration, which will be forwarded to the business.
Jeremias Silva, the county’s grants manager, said if a business receives a grant, it will also get a 1099 since the funds are considered earned income.
“We have about 2 1/2 months to spend more than half a million dollars,” Silva said. “It is very limited as to what kinds of expenses businesses are allowed to make requests on. One particular item of concern is the funds will only reimburse for temporary structures like a tent or shade canopy.
“I’ve seen several businesses put in permanent structures to mitigate the spread of COVID and maintain their income. We will be corresponding with DFA. We don’t want the county on the hook for any money left on the table; we need to be able to justify all purchases.”
Community Development Director Nancy Gonzales said the municipalities will be contacting their businesses and spreading the word about the grants.
“We will also advertise in the News-Bulletin, put this out on social media as well as send it to all our registered business license holders in the county,” Gonzales said. “The grant application will be available in English and Spanish.”
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.