ABQ Business First

Rio Rancho awards more than $465,000 in small business grants

By Chris Keller – Managing Editor, Albuquerque Business First
Dec 24, 2020, 12:40pm EST
Fifty-four Rio Rancho businesses will receive grants from the city’s allocation of CARES Act money, which will help to offset some effects from the economic downturn associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

City officials had a Dec. 30 deadline to meet to evaluate applications and to award $465,733.

“I want to commend [city] staff who worked tirelessly with small business owners and nonprofit personnel to guide them through the eligibility criteria and application process and, as a result, were able to disperse the grant funding fully so that the money was given to the maximum number of eligible applicants,” Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull said in a prepared statement.

In addition to the eligibility guidelines set by New Mexico officials, Rio Rancho staff developed a tiered system to determine how much money each business or nonprofit could receive. The result was five tiers, each of which had a maximum grant amount.

Tier 1: Annual revenue up to $250,000 would be eligible for an award up to $4,000
Tier 2: Annual revenue up to $500,000 would be eligible for an award up to $8,000
Tier 3: Annual revenue up to $1,000,000 would be eligible for an award up to $15,000
Tier 4: Annual revenue up to $1,500,000 would be eligible for an award up to $18,750
Tier 5: Annual revenue up to $5,000,000 would be eligible for an award up to $32,100

Each applicant applied for grants based on needs. The city identified one need area as business continuity. These included expenses such as rent, utilities and payroll. A second area — business redesign — included expenses for reconfiguring physical space, providing personal protective equipment for employees and other pandemic-related preparations.

Applicants claiming the need for business continuity had to demonstrate a revenue decline by official tax documentation.

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