ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KRQE) – The state government of New Mexico is trying to help thousands of private businesses struggling to stay afloat due to closures, cancellations and limitations brought on by COVID-19.
Amid multiple public health orders banning mass gatherings and restricting types of social gatherings in New Mexico, the state’s Department of Economic Development (NMED) said it was hit with relentless appeals from homeowners company facing financial problems.
“Businesses are losing revenue, we hear it every second, they have to shut down, they have to lay people off, they need capital to stay afloat,” said Johanna Nelson, head of strategic program development. coordinator of the New Mexico Department of Economic Development.
Nelson is partly overseeing the state’s new “COVID-19 Business Loan Guarantee Program.” The program will guarantee up to $ 50,000 or 80% of the principal amount of a loan made by a bank or other small business lender.
According to NMED, this money can be used as “working capital” to help pay bills, payroll, inventory, or other business expenses.
Ideally, the state says the program should make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to obtain loans because the state supports these payments.
New Mexico Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keyes said the state has up to $ 4 million to spend on the COVID-19 business loan guarantee program. On Tuesday, the state said only three companies have applied for the loan guarantee program, but the state expects a flood of applications soon.
“We see a lot of service providers, restaurants, hairdressers, salons, that stuff, landscaping companies, hotels that are really, really going to be affected by this,” Keyes said.
The state’s economic development department says it can make a decision on these loan guarantees in about 24 hours. Businesses can only apply for the program through a financial lender such as a bank, credit union, or other institution.
The New Mexico Department of Economic Development puts all information on business loan programs on its website.
The federal government also approved the New Mexico disaster declaration on Tuesday, opening the process for small businesses to Apply for a low-interest loan of up to $ 2 million from the US Small Business Administration.