Early Assist From Accion Helps Business Owner Train Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Patrick Jenkins demonstration

Patrick Jenkins demonstration

By Finance New Mexico

In the early 2000s, Patrick Jenkins needed help meeting customer demand at his barbershop, A Better U, in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights. But good barbers were hard to find, so Jenkins decided to cultivate a younger generation of ambitious hair-care entrepreneurs.

He opened A Better U Academy in 2007 on Lomas Boulevard between Carlisle and San Mateo boulevards and incorporated his original business into the school. Of Albuquerque’s 16 barber colleges, Jenkins said, it’s the only one that trains students not just how to cut, style and shave hair but also how to run a business built on those skills. “We’re committed to being the best,” he said. Continue reading

Business Incubator Opens Doors With Help From Funding Panel

550 Brewing

The incubator’s first tenant, 550 Brewing; photo courtesy 550 Brewing

By Finance New Mexico

When Aztec community leaders envisioned a downtown co-working space and retail-business incubator, they made a plan, found a building and identified initial sources of funding for the project. But they needed additional money to get it off the ground. They turned to New Mexico FundIt, an informal group of federal and state government and nonprofit agencies that meets regularly to help identify capital and fill funding gaps in economic development projects.

FundIt was created by the New Mexico Economic Development Department from a suggestion by a blue-ribbon panel convened to identify ways to streamline development projects in the state. Continue reading

Tularosa Hat Maker Stays Put With USDA Loan

By Finance New Mexico

Bronco Sue Custom Hats gets lots of walk-in traffic. Situated at the crossroads of New Mexico State Highways 54 and 70 in Tularosa, the retail store is a must-stop for those visiting south-central New Mexico tourist attractions such as White Sands National Monument, the town of Ruidoso and Lincoln Historic Site — the most visited state monument in New Mexico.

So when Kenneth and Lu Lyn Brasher, the owners of Bronco Sue Custom Hats, had the opportunity to purchase the building that’s home to their antique hat-making equipment and retail store, they jumped at the opportunity. Like many rural residents, the Brashers didn’t finance the property through a bank. “The people that we bought it from were the ones carrying the paper,” said Lu Lyn. Continue reading

Communities Look to Airports to Spur Economic Development

By Finance New Mexico

Even in the age of the Internet and videoconferencing, a lot of business must be done face-to-face. In Northern New Mexico, that just got a whole lot easier. In December, direct flights between Phoenix and Santa Fe were inaugurated, making it fast and effortless for residents of the Valley of the Sun to reach New Mexico, and vice-versa. Continue reading

Investment in Knowledge Can Pay Early Dividends

Market intelligence

By Finance New Mexico

Before putting money into a new venture, savvy entrepreneurs make another kind of investment: the dedication of time for market intelligence. They learn everything possible about the market they wish to enter, who’s succeeding or failing in it and what alternative products or services are currently filling the need the entrepreneur aims to meet.

Market intelligence helps predict demand for a product and can lead to changes in the proposed offering or result in a pivot to another market sector. Continue reading

Details Can Be Weighty When Renting Commercial Space

By Finance New Mexico

Renting a commercial space is a move many entrepreneurs postpone as long as they can, because it’s one of the biggest expenses and most consequential commitments a startup or young company faces.

A commercial lease binds landlord and tenant to a variety of promises. A well-executed lease can benefit both parties, but a hasty, vague arrangement can break an embryonic enterprise. Continue reading

Rural Development Grant Program Fosters Job Growth

The tribal administrative offices and community center of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, which received RBDG funds

By Finance New Mexico

Nonprofit organizations and government agencies in rural communities have economic development funds at their fingertips through the Rural Business Development Grant program (RBDG) of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The program is designed to support job creation and economic development efforts of nonprofits and public entities, though small and emerging private businesses can access those funds for certain projects. Continue reading

Financial Literacy Essential for Business Owners

Carmen Martinez, director, Small Business Development Center at San Juan College

By Carmen Martinez, Director, Small Business Development Center at San Juan College

Business owners don’t need a degree in accounting, but they do need to know how to read basic financial statements and when to ask the accountants who prepare them to explain what they don’t understand.

No one wants to be like the business owner who believed she was making a profit because her checkbook had a positive balance. But even business owners who diligently record financial transactions using basic accounting software don’t always comprehend the reports their CPA generates based on these records.

That means they’re not using the expertise they pay for, and they’re not using the numbers as tools to build their business. Continue reading

Hospitality Disrupter Eyed for State, Local Revenue

AirBnb

By Finance New Mexico

AirBnb is not just another billion-dollar Silicon Valley start-up, although with a market value estimated at $30 billion, the company certainly qualifies. No, AirBnB is a disrupter, a company that has caused a fundamental change in the hospitality industry. And like any change, this one has produced winners and losers.

The winners include almost 3,500 people across New Mexico who have turned their spare bedrooms — and second homes — into a source of income. In Santa Fe, for example, there are nearly 1,000 people renting space. Continue reading

Tax on Out-of-State Business Purchases Aims to Keep New Mexico Competitive

Compensating Tax

By Finance New Mexico

Lots of New Mexico business owners don’t realize they’re required to pay a “compensating tax” for business-related purchases they make on the internet or in a state that doesn’t charge sales tax.

Some know they’re supposed to but they ignore it, assuming the state will never discover the nonpayment.

Most of the time, that’s a safe assumption because the state can’t monitor everything a business does. But it’s risky, nevertheless, because an audit could uncover the nonpayment and this discovery could result in a hefty fine — especially if the business acquires much of its raw materials from out of state, depriving New Mexico of significant tax revenue. Continue reading