By Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2021

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - More than 6,500 New Mexico businesses and nonprofits will receive up to $50,000 under a state program created to help companies cope with economic fallout from the pandemic.

That’s about half of the companies that applied, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

“The number (of applications) that we couldn’t fund was very hard for us,” said Marquita Russel, CEO of the New Mexico Finance Authority, the state agency that administered the program.

In another development, the state on Saturday reported 1,252 additional known COVID-19 cases and 32 additional deaths, increasing the state’s totals since the pandemic began to 145,379 cases and 2,534 deaths.

The state implemented the program to help businesses as part of a bigger $320 million coronavirus relief package passed by New Mexico lawmakers. The program uses $100 million in federal coronavirus relief funds allocated to the state. About $40 million of that sum was allocated for businesses located outside of the state’s four largest cities.



Russel said that while her agency had expected to receive roughly 10,000 applications, it received over 14,000.

In all, 6,530 applications were funded.

Russel said the agency prioritized businesses that experienced the most significant losses as a result of the pandemic.

In order to receive money under the program, small businesses had to be majority-owned by New Mexico residents and have 100 or fewer employees.

“We’re gratified that we were able to get $100 million out the door,” Russel said. “That was really important to us, there’s so much need.”

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