By Finance New Mexico
For the second year in a row, the Small Business Administration is sponsoring a competition to award $50,000 each to 50 business accelerators, incubators, shared tinker spaces and co-working startup communities.
This time around, Javier Saade, associate administrator for the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, hopes to see more applicants from New Mexico. Continue reading
By Matt Loehman, Development and Special Projects Coordinator, The Loan Fund
The Silver City economy was thriving in 1996 when Christina Montoya bought her family’s bus company from her parents and continued its contract with the Cobre Consolidated School District to transport students. In 2001, Montoya approached The Loan Fund for money to finance the replacement of two of Montoya Transportation’s older buses.
When two Silver City bus companies announced they were looking for buyers, Montoya secured a loan with local AMBank to buy both fleets and assume their contracts with Silver City schools.
But just as Montoya’s business was expanding, the local economy contracted. Continue reading
By Claudia Infante, Projects Coordinator, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Any entrepreneur with a product idea or prototype can find someone to build it in New Mexico.
Two companies that do just that for a variety of clients are Marpac, a maker of devices that secure medical tubes and collars, and TEAM Technologies Inc., which designs and fabricates products that require advanced engineering and electronics.
Both Albuquerque companies opened their doors for New Mexico Manufacturing Day activities last fall and plan to participate again this year. Continue reading
By Holly Bradshaw-Eakes, Finance New Mexico (and board member of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce)
The earnings and opportunities gap that separates high school dropouts and graduates is wide, and it’s widening all the time. Yet 40 percent of New Mexico’s public school students quit their formal education before earning a diploma that can improve their options over a lifetime.
Those dismal statistics motivated David Sidebottom, a branch manager of Century Bank, to introduce the Choices education program to Santa Fe schools six years ago. Using a curriculum designed by the nonprofit Choices Education Group, Sidebottom and other volunteers visit eighth-graders for two hour-long workshops that illustrate in tangible, age-appropriate terms the consequences of quitting school prematurely. Continue reading
By Finance New Mexico
Anyone who operates a business in New Mexico is familiar with the gross receipts tax, or GRT — a tax not on sales but on companies and people who do business here.
Unlike a sales tax, the GRT is imposed on the seller of property or services. It is not a tax the seller collects from the buyer and delivers to the state; it’s due even if the seller doesn’t charge the buyer. Continue reading
By Missy Galle, Operations Officer, Los Alamos National Bank
Major credit card processors are imposing tougher security measures on credit card issuers in the industry’s ongoing efforts to combat credit card fraud.
These global standards — called EMV for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the companies collaborating on the new system — include embedding computer chips into “smart” credit cards that offer greater security for point of sale (POS) transactions than the magnetic strips on traditional credit cards.
Many chip-embedded cards require a personal identification number (PIN) instead of a signature to complete the POS transaction and close the security loop; these “chip-and-PIN” cards are the norm around the world, though they’ve been slow to catch on in the United States. Continue reading
By Metta Smith, Director of Lending and Client Relations, Accion
Health is a common denominator of Deanna Montoya’s Belen businesses: the Extreme Fitness gym, which she started seven years ago, and the Enchanted Smiles dental practice, which opened in September 2013.
The lifelong Belen resident operates both businesses, leading Zumba classes at the gym and working as a dental hygienist at Enchanted Smiles.
Montoya’s passion for fitness is obvious to locals — whether they’re the other instructors she employs to lead spin, rip and circuit training classes at Extreme Fitness; the dentist, receptionist and part-time hygienist who work at the dental practice; or the people who’ve benefited from community fundraisers Montoya has hosted to help pay her neighbors’ medical bills or raise awareness about cancer. Continue reading
By Sandy Nelson, Finance New Mexico team member
Managing creative people can be confounding to business leaders who prefer order and structure. But learning how to manage or lead “creatives” is critical to recruiting and retaining the natural nonconformists whose unconventional ideas can lead to transformative products and services.
The trick is to balance a business’s need for on-time, on-budget work with the nonlinear thinker’s need for challenge, risk and meaning.
Some companies have famously figured out how to foster a culture of creativity and profitability, whether they’re producing forward-thinking commodities (think Apple and Samsung), services (Google, Facebook), business models (Virgin Group), operational designs (Southwest Airlines) or manufacturing processes (Toyota). Continue reading
By Finance New Mexico
When a business applies for a loan, the lender reviews the credit score of the owner or owners and uses that information to assess risk. While the score is only one metric of financial stability, it can determine whether the business gets the loan at all, how much it can borrow and what interest terms it can expect.
For that reason, business owners need to know their scores and maintain the highest possible number by paying bills on time or getting help to correct money-management problems. Continue reading
By Norma Valdez, Community Development Director, The Loan Fund
Small companies often lease space before buying or building a property that allows them to expand or modernize. When they’re ready for that leap of faith, the U.S. Small Business Administration can help by underwriting a significant portion of any loan they need.
The SBA’s 504 loan program is a public-private partnership administered through a Certified Development Company (CDC) that helps small, independently owned companies secure the fixed assets — such as land, building and equipment — that they need to grow and be competitive. Continue reading