Workplace Safety Materials Put Accent on Spanish Speakers

Caution posting

By Finance New Mexico

Spanish-speaking people have been part of New Mexico’s work force for hundreds of years. But the dramatic growth of this population — driven largely by immigration — and the anticipated growth well into the future underscore the urgency of culturally tailored workplace safety training.

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries has consistently shown higher workplace fatality rates for Hispanic workers than for workers from other racial or ethnic groups, and these rates are highest among Continue reading

Agriculture Bill Brings Changes for State’s Farmers, Farmer’s Markets

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

The 2014 Farm Bill has something for every New Mexican who makes a living by farming or ranching. The bill, which became law in February, affects Department of Agriculture programs until fiscal year 2018.

Most significantly, the bill replaces direct and countercyclical payments to farmers with expanded crop insurance offerings.
The discontinued program subsidized farmers based on historical acreage and yields rather than actual yield, while countercyclical payments compensated farmers when crop prices fell. Continue reading

State Funds Give Businesses Access to Capital

Russell Cummins

By Russell Cummins, Executive Director and Investment Advisor, New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation

Lots of small-business owners need cash to get their companies off the ground or pursue opportunities to build their client base. But some of those businesses can’t get loans from traditional sources that focus on established businesses.

These are the clients that the New Mexico Small Business Investment Corporation exists to serve. Since its creation by the Legislature in 2001, NMSBIC has distributed money from the Severance Tax Permanent Fund through its lending partner network to small businesses statewide.
Partner organizations apply their own underwriting standards when deciding which businesses to back, but they generally serve clients with a solid business plan, an ambitious owner or management team and a venture that seems likely to create jobs. Since 2004, the network has approved more than 3,000 loans to businesses in nearly every New Mexico community. Continue reading

Collaboration Aims to Streamline Funding for Economic Development Projects

By Antoinette Vigil, Finance Development Team Leader, New Mexico Economic Development Department

By Antoinette Vigil, Finance Development Team Leader, New Mexico Economic Development Department

When a New Mexico community wants to undertake a project for downtown revitalization, business incubation, housing or infrastructure, backers often don’t know where to look for financing and are easily discouraged or intimidated by the maze of government agencies they have to navigate.

The state addressed this problem in the “rural renaissance” platform of its five-year economic development plan, unveiled in 2013, by creating New Mexico FundIt — a federal-state partnership that aims to be a one-stop source of start-to-finish financing for projects that will help with infrastructure development, job creation and small-business development.

Through FundIt, communities can vet their development proposals before multiple state and federal infrastructure funding agencies at the same time. Continue reading

Statewide Biz Calendar Promotes Business-Building Connections

By Holly Bradshaw Eakes

By Holly Bradshaw Eakes

New Mexicans never have to wonder where they can go to widen their professional networks or learn the skills that will grow their businesses or advance their careers.

The online Business Calendar — or Biz Calendar for short — offers the most comprehensive cache of information about the business events, workshops, meetings, certification classes and professional gatherings that are happening anywhere in the state today, tomorrow, next week and later in the year.

Public and private service providers use the collaborative web-based calendar to inform Continue reading

Public Banking Gets a Hearing at Symposium

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

With tighter credit standards that have resulted in fewer loans since the recession of 2008, some are backing an effort to open a publicly owned and managed bank in New Mexico. These advocates are holding a symposium in Santa Fe on Sept. 27 to educate the public and decide how to proceed.

State Rep. Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) has pushed for a statewide public bank for years, arguing it would keep more money at home and make it easier for businesses to secure capital. Continue reading

A Court for Every Conflict: Resolving Business Disputes in New Mexico

Stephen S. Hamilton

A clear, detailed contract with a dispute resolution clause is the best defense when a business and client disagree over performance or other conditions.

But even the most airtight agreement can’t inoculate a business from all potential conflicts with customers, partners or other businesses.

Simple arguments can be resolved through formal mediation or arbitration, but more complex disagreements require judicial intervention.

Different Courts for Different Conflicts

If a business believes a client or competitor has broken federal law, say, by infringing on a trademark or copyright, it can bring the case in state or federal court. Continue reading

Liability, Strategy Concerns Help Business Owners Pick Structure

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

The form a new business should take isn’t always obvious. Though many self-employed entrepreneurs begin as sole proprietors, an individual can structure her business in many other ways. The best structure is the one that fits her business’s strategy and size and offers the greatest protection from liability and taxes.

Flying Solo

A sole proprietorship, the simplest business form, is logical for many startups or solo professionals, such as consultants, private investigators or freelance writers. Continue reading

New Mexico Businesses Join National Manufacturing Day Initiative

Claudia Serrano

By Claudia Serrano, Projects Coordinator, New Mexico MEP

Manufacturing Day is catching on in New Mexico, with more and more manufacturers lining up to represent the state in a national day of recognition for businesses that make products in America.

Events are planned at more than a dozen facilities in nine New Mexico communities. Last year, the first time New Mexico participated, seven producers hosted events in three cities.

New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership — the primary sponsor of statewide events — is scheduling tours in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, Hobbs, Silver City, Deming, Farmington, Las Cruces and from Santa Fe to Taos. Continue reading

Business Owners Can Learn to Get the Groove Back

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

Life for a business owner is exhilarating and dynamic, especially in the beginning, as the plan is set in motion and a product or service begins its path to market. The unpredictability of this journey is part of the reason it’s so stimulating to start and build a business, but maintaining that level of excitement and drive can be challenging when the business’s evolution doesn’t unfold according to plan.

When initial funding from family or an investor runs out before benchmarks are met, a startup owner can worry about her ability to repay investors and stay on track. Continue reading