SBA Honoree Salutes State’s Business-Resource Network

By Claudia Infante, Projects Coordinator, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

By Claudia Infante, Projects Coordinator, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Karl Halpert’s collaborative relationships with multiple business service providers has helped the Taos entrepreneur build Private Label Select (PLS) into the personal-care industry’s premier maker of lip balms, lip tints and other cosmetics in just 22 years.

The business is growing so robustly — with annual growth of 40 to 50 percent — that the U.S. Small Business Administration recently named the company’s president and chief executive officer the Small Business Person of the Year for New Mexico. Before the celebration of that achievement May 5 in Albuquerque, Halpert will travel to Washington, D.C., to learn if he’s been named the nation’s top entrepreneur for 2016. Continue reading

Collaborative Model of Economic Development Draws Interest

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

As a legislator for the 9th District — the poorest county in one of America’s poorest states — Patty Lundstrom spends a lot of time educating fellow lawmakers about how their actions affect economic development at the community level. She understands these impacts firsthand, because Lundstrom’s primary job is to build the economy of Gallup and McKinley County as executive director of the Greater Gallup Economic Development Corporation. Continue reading

‘Visuality’ Is the New Tool for Leadership

Visual tools direct workers

By Finance New Mexico

Those who have gazed upon an infographic have experienced the core of a methodology that is captivating business leaders. ‘Visuality’ isn’t new, but its innovative application to workplace environments is improving efficiency, productivity and safety. Managers who have incorporated its principles into their business call it the language of leadership. Continue reading

SCORE Offers Entrepreneurs Free Mentoring, Low-Cost Training

Albuquerque SCOREConsidering all the business smarts stored in the brains of seasoned executives, it would be a shame to let it go to waste.

SCORE gives entrepreneurs the key to that stored knowledge by pairing them with volunteer mentors who have decades of expertise in all aspects of starting and running a business. It also hosts workshops and seminars that teach basic and advanced skills that are crucial for a business owner to have. Continue reading

Community Banks Essential to Business Success

Las Trancas Restaurant

By Finance New Mexico

Ramiro Alcala learned the value of community banks in 2013 when he needed a loan to expand the parking lot at his Las Cruces restaurant, Las Trancas, and to add walk-in refrigerators to the kitchen.

Despite his long and successful track record with the business, which he opened with his mother in 1996, Alcala couldn’t find traditional financing until he approached the local office of Century Bank. Continue reading

Conference Enlightens Veterans About Business Opportunities, Resources

VBOC logoVeterans come to the private-sector workforce with a lot to offer, including advanced training in specialized fields such as logistics, security, information technology, personnel management and administration. They understand the complexities of doing business with the U.S. government and the importance of following instructions and protocol.

Veterans have a mission-driven mind-set and work well under pressure. They appreciate the need for teamwork and leadership. Continue reading

USDA Microloans Aim to Encourage New Crop of Farmers

By Finance New Mexico; photo courtesy

By Finance New Mexico; photo courtesy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making it easier for New Mexicans to take up — or continue — farming in a state that’s famous for its chile and other commercial crops but also produces specialty items derived from agricultural products.

Direct Farm Ownership Microloans, which help agricultural entrepreneurs buy and improve farmland and farm buildings and finance other related capital-intensive activities, are especially helpful to beginning and underserved farmers, veterans and those just embarking on a farming career. Continue reading

Loans Help Atrisco Continue Educational, Cultural Mission

By Cathy Sorenson, Loan Officer for The Loan Fund

By Cathy Sorenson, Loan Officer for The Loan Fund

When the Atrisco Heritage Foundation lost a significant annual contribution to its Legacy Fund in the 2008 recession, CEO Peter Sanchez was thankful his foundation had an existing relationship with the state’s oldest and largest nonprofit community lending organization.

“We had started to forge a business relationship with The Loan Fund,” he said, “so they got a chance to know us not in distress but in a building mode.”

That connection was critical when SunCal, a major real-estate developer, defaulted on the loan it secured with Barclays bank to purchase 57,000 acres of land from Atrisco’s earlier incarnation, Continue reading

Mediation Helps Businesses Resolve Conflicts Quickly and Affordably

By Stephen S. Hamilton, attorney and mediator, Montgomery & Andrews, P.A.

By Stephen S. Hamilton, attorney and mediator, Montgomery & Andrews, P.A.

Mediation can save disputing parties time and money, which makes it an increasingly popular — and sometimes mandatory — form of conflict resolution for businesses and individuals involved in civil litigation. In a mediation or settlement conference, a neutral negotiator tries to help adversaries reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

Mediation is relatively new in the U.S., but its success has prompted many New Mexico courts to require that parties try to reach pretrial accords.

Why Mediation?

Mediation reduces the expense of settling a conflict and increases the likelihood that parties will quickly reach a satisfactory outcome. Continue reading

LANS’ Fund Gives Native American Businesses Traction for Growth

By Kathy Keith, Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Relations and Partnerships Office

By Kathy Keith, Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Relations and Partnerships Office

After a successful trial run of its new arts and farmers market last October, Eight Northern Indian Pueblos Council Inc. (ENIPC) solidified plans to make the markets a weekly event each Saturday this year from July 9 through the Columbus Day weekend. To maximize the economic benefits to market vendors — Native and non-Native farmers and artists from Northern New Mexico ENIPC — knew it needed to expand marketing to reach potential customers during the busy tourist season.

So ENIPC applied for — and received — funding from the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund (NAVAF), a pool of money distributed by Los Alamos National Security, LLC, and the Regional Development Corporation to help Native enterprises create jobs, increase their revenue base and diversify the Northern New Mexico economy. Continue reading