Business owners have less a week left in the application period to apply for $200 million in grants through the Local Economic Development Act Recovery Grants program, with each business eligible for a maximum of $100,000.

Businesses have until noon on June 15, to apply. Grant applications will be reviewed after the deadline and will be prioritized based on the decline in revenue experienced by the business from 2019 to 2020. Grants will be awarded to businesses based on this prioritization. The grants process is not first-come, first-served, and unlike a loan, a grant does not have to be paid back.

If funding remains available after this application period, the New Mexico Finance Authority may open a second application period. Since funding left for a second application period will be a smaller pool of grant funds, it’s important for businesses to apply now.

Applications are being processed by the New Mexico Finance Authority. The online application, program guidelines, and additional information can be found at nmfinance.com.

“The LEDA Recovery Grants program is one of many initiatives the state is taking to support businesses so they can rehire workers and sustain jobs as we move toward a full economic recovery,” Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said.

The LEDA Recovery Grants are intended to encourage job growth. Eligible businesses must have at least one employee and no more than 75 employees in any one location, be operating in New Mexico on or before Oct. 1, 2019, be current on all state and local tax obligations, and have experienced a decline in business revenue between taxable years 2019 and 2020. No business sector is excluded from the funding.

Grant awards of up to $100,000 are based upon the number of new full-time equivalent employees added on or after April 1. Award amounts are also based upon the percentage of revenue loss from one or more quarters in 2019, as compared to the same period in 2020, and the average wages to be paid to the new FTE.

Expenses that can be covered by grant funds are rent, mortgage, and lease payments on the building occupied by the business. Grant applications are prioritized based on the severity of economic decline experienced by the business. Funds are paid quarterly subject to employment information submitted by the recipient.

At least $100 million will be reserved for businesses in urban areas and at least $50 million will be reserved for businesses in rural areas.

Applicants may submit one application per business location and can check the status of their applications online. Awards are expected to be made in July.

Prospective applicants can submit questions via email at LEDA@nmfa.net or by calling 992-9696. Assistance in Spanish is also available at the same number.

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.