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Grant job creation requirement a big challenge

Millions of grant dollars are still waiting to be claimed by businesses, according to the New Mexico Finance Authority, but one of the requirements could be deterring some.

The grants are part of the state’s ongoing recovery assistance to businesses after the economic damages of the year-long shutdown. Up to $100,000 is available to qualifying businesses for help covering things like rent and lease payments.

Along with fairly standard requirements such as the business must be operating within New Mexico, must have less than 75 full or part-time employees and experienced a decline in revenue during the pandemic, businesses must also create one job per quarter to keep the money, according to Jason Espinoza, state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

“One of the challenges with that program which small businesses are going to have to overcome is the job creation requirement,” Espinoza told The Center Square. “Even though it’s just one job per quarter, one of the things NFIB is seeing in our small business surveys we send out is that the labor shortage and rehiring of employees is certainly the biggest obstacle that small businesses are facing.”

About 17,000 applications have been initiated while only a quarter of those have been completed, KRQE reported.

“At the pace at which the applications are coming in and completed unless there is a large spike, right now we should have enough to cover all the applications,” Marquita Russel, CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority, told KRQE.

Businesses’ relaxed attitude toward the funding is a sign that things are returning to normal, according to Espinoza.

“I think this is an indicator that businesses are ready to reopen and bring in revenue the traditional way of selling their goods and services to the customers,” he said.

This article was originally posted on Grant job creation requirement a big challenge

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