COVID-19 Information and Resources for Small Businesses

In an abundance of caution, WESST continues to suspend the overwhelming majority of  in-office meetings and trainings through the end of 2021. Business will continue as usual just over the telephone, video conference and email. You will continue to have our wonderful team of consultants at your service throughout this time. All of our contact information will remain the same. If you would like to meet with a business consultant, please click on the Business Consulting button below. For a list of our online scheduled training, please click on the Business Training button below. To support our clients, WESST will be suspending client consulting and training fees for the foreseeable future.

Financial Assistance

WESST team of consultants, located across New Mexico, can help you navigate the disaster loan program offerings, application process, and compliance requirements after you obtain funding.  If you need immediate assistance you can contact our office by clicking on the Business Consulting button above or by completing the WESST Small Business Loan Inquiry.

At WESST, we are dedicated to supporting small businesses across New Mexico. As our community responds to the global COVID-19 public health emergency, we aim to share as many resources and tools as possible for New Mexico businesses to respond to developments.

This page will be updated frequently as new resources come to our attention.

Additional Financial Assistance and Grants

  • NEW! $1.4M in Economic Relief Available.  The N.M. Human Services Dept. will provide economic relief assistance for N.M. residents who did not qualify for federal pandemic stimulus payments and did not receive a July 2021 State of New Mexico economic relief payment. Payments will be provided to low-income households based on funding availability. The online application will be available October 12. Deadline: October 22 at 3 p.m.
  • UPDATE: The Native American Recovery Fund Zone Grant.  The fund will award capacity building planning grants to help groups deepen projects they intend to do in their communities over the next three years. $25,000 grants will be awarded to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, tribes, or Native-led organizations with a fiscal sponsor. Deadline: Extended to October 28.
  • Vecino Fund Emergency Grant - The foundation will award grants of up to $10,000 to organizations addressing any emergency needs in their communities resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • PPP Loans – 1st and 2nd draw PPP loans have some updated rules. For PPP application assistance, go to the NM Small Business Development Center website. 
  • Rural Businesses Can Apply for LISC Grant  LISC is a national nonprofit organization that has stepped up during the pandemic to offer grants to rural and minority-owned businesses hard-hit by COVID-19 emergency health orders. Competition is tough: applicants are drawn from across the country. The good news is that most of New Mexico is considered rural. Businesses located in communities with fewer than 50,000 people are eligible, a rule that only disqualifies businesses in New Mexico’s four largest cities (Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Las Cruces, and Santa Fe). Mobile businesses can use the location where their vehicle is stored during non-business hours.
  • EIDL Loans – The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster.
  • SBA COVID-19 Funding Options Portal – A free, curated list of thousands of funding sources at the national, state, regional, and local levels designed to support small businesses in accessing capital to recover from COVID-19.  The opening page captures programs that are available nationally.  Visitors then only need to enter a ZIP code of interest to see which programs their area may be eligible.  The information is current as of the date of publication, so resource availability may change over time.
  • CARES Act Provider Relief Fund – The Provider Relief Fund supports families, workers, and the heroic healthcare providers in the battle against COVID-19. HHS is distributing $178 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response.
  • NMSBA Leveraged Projects – NMSBA leveraged projects allow multiple small businesses that share technical challenges to request assistance collectively for a project funded at a higher level than the limits for a single company. Leveraged projects fund lab staff time and incidental materials at a range of $40,000 to $120,000 (the sum of the assistance for which each participating company is eligible) and must be completed by December 2021.
  • PNM COVID-19 Customer Relief Program – These new PNM COVID Customer Relief Programs are designed to deliver assistance for both residential and small business customers who are behind on their bill and need a hand in getting their account in better status to avoid an interruption of electric service down the road, and ultimately breathe a sigh of relief when they are facing a large past due balance.
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Finance announced the names of the municipalities and counties that will receive CARES Act funding that can be offered as grants to their local businesses. Grant funds can only be used by pandemic-impacted businesses for eligible expenses that fall into two categories: Business Continuity (such as non-owner payroll; rent or mortgage; insurance; utilities; marketing) and Business Redesign (installing plexiglass barriers, temporary structures and physical space reconfiguration to mitigate the spread of the virus; purchases of PPE and web conferencing technology).  Each awarded municipality, county and regional group will announce its own application procedures that eligible businesses must follow.  >See if your business is located in an awarded municipality, county or region.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – This loan and advance up to $10,000 will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.  Please note:  The “advance” portion of the EIDL Loan is now officially closed.  EIDL loan applications will still be processed even though the Advance is no longer available.
  • Coronavirus Food Assistance Program – USDA relief funding for agricultural producers who suffered losses due to the coronavirus.  Deadline: February 26, 2021.
  • Lowe’s LISC Partnership Grants – Thanks to a $55 million significant commitment grant from Lowe’s, LISC will provide the emergency grant assistance that small businesses desperately need to stay afloat.

Resources To Stay Up To Date

Small Business Administration Resources

Resources shared here include information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, Guidance for Businesses and Employers, SBA Products and Resources, Government Contracting, and Local Assistance.

City of Albuquerque Resources

  • Financial Navigators Program – The Financial Navigators program is designed to help residents deal with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing remote assistance in navigating critical financial issues by connecting clients to social services and resources.  The City of Albuquerque is working with local community organizations, including Prosperity Works, to provide this free public service for all City of Albuquerque residents.
  • Small Business Office
    The Small Business Office (SBO) is a division of the City of Albuquerque’s Economic Development Department. It is the central point of entry for Albuquerque entrepreneurs and businesses providing timely, relevant, actionable information and assistance.
  • The City of Albuquerque released a list of COVID-19 tips and resources for small businesses and organizations. View it HERE.
  • Scammers take advantage of fears about the coronavirus.  Here are some tips to keep you safe from scammers in English and Spanish.  You can also find additional information HERE.

New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

Additional resources: