Stronger State Economy Requires Shared Vision and Collaboration

William F. Fulginiti, Executive Director, New Mexico Municipal League

By William F. Fulginiti, Executive Director, New Mexico Municipal League

As elected city leaders, New Mexico Municipal League members understand the importance of creating jobs in a state where recovery from the 2008-2009 recession has been slow at best.

Because the Municipal League represents the state’s 106 cities, towns and villages — from small towns like Tatum and Chama to urban hubs like Albuquerque and Las Cruces — we have a statewide perspective on economic development. That’s why the league has taken a leadership role in initiatives that stimulate job creation in every corner of this diverse state.

As league director, I’ve had the privilege of serving on several boards, councils and committees dedicated to strengthening the state’s economy. Continue reading

Written Terms: The First Step Toward Avoiding Disputes

Signing a contract

By Finance New Mexico

A legal contract that spells out the responsibilities and relationships of partners in a business venture protects the interests of all parties involved, and it can guard against the messy disputes that can potentially sever friendships and family ties when an entrepreneur relies on friends and relatives to be his initial investors or workers and things don’t turn out as expected.

A term sheet can serve as a template and preliminary document for such a contract. Commonly used by professional investors when negotiating their involvement in a business venture, a term sheet can also be used by small-business owners to start discussions of investment and responsibility terms with family members. Continue reading

Court Ruling Shows Covenants Will Be Interpreted Narrowly

John Campbell

John Campbell

By Lawrence M. Wells and John S. Campbell, attorneys at Montgomery & Andrews, P.A.

A ruling by the New Mexico Court of Appeals this spring over homeowners’ rights to keep chickens as pets, despite a community covenant restriction against keeping poultry, has ramifications for property owners, including those in business condominium associations and other business developments.

The appellate court in March reversed a 2014 trial court decision that Eldorado residents who kept chickens as pets in their backyards violated the community’s covenants against raising poultry. It did so on the grounds that the covenant language was ambiguous enough to be interpreted in more than one way, and should be interpreted expansively. Continue reading

The Loan Fund to Expand Services to the State’s Creative Entrepreneurs

Creative Entrepreneurs

By Finance New Mexico

In the first 15 months of its CreativeFund program, The Loan Fund helped more than 100 creative entrepreneurs in Albuquerque and Santa Fe secure a loan or receive training or advice to help turn their creative talents into successful business ventures.

The program has been so successful, in fact, that The Loan Fund is planning to expand its offerings statewide. Continue reading

Film-Friendly Businesses Can Help Diversify State’s Economy

Marisa Jimenez

Marisa Jimenez at Santa Fe Studios

By Finance New Mexico

Marisa Xochtl Jimenez hasn’t lived in New Mexico for long, but the director of operations for Santa Fe Studios is already passionate about bringing jobs to the state.

Her area of expertise is film production; she manages one of the nation’s most prolific independent film studios and is part of the management team of MBS3, a global equipment services and management company associated with the film industry. Jimenez sees abundant opportunities for gung-ho, flexible, friendly and dependable New Mexico entrepreneurs to prosper in this growing industry if they’re willing to accommodate its nontraditional needs and long hours.

“New Mexico has welcomed the film industry with rebates and tax incentives since the 1990s,” Jimenez said. “And although we have world-class facilities, we still need to continue to train, grow and develop in order to remain a competitive state for productions to want to film in New Mexico.” Continue reading

PNM Investments Drive Economic Development Initiatives

By Agnes Noonan, President, WESST

By Agnes Noonan, President, WESST

PNM and the PNM Resources Foundation contribute more than $3 million to New Mexico nonprofits and community partners each year to support economic, educational and environmental initiatives in the communities the company serves.

One of its core partnerships is with WESST, a non-profit small-business development organization committed to cultivating entrepreneurship throughout the state through training, consulting, incubation and lending.

“Through our economic vitality giving efforts, we focus on economic-development collaborations, support of local chambers (of commerce) and providing assistance to low-income-qualified families through programs that increase their energy efficiency options and reduce their utility bills,” said Amy M. Miller, director of community, environment and local government for PNM. Continue reading

Rural Communities See Growth Through Commercial Kitchen Incubators

The Mixing Bowl; photo courtesy Rio Grande Cuisine

By Finance New Mexico

Creativity is simmering at commercial-kitchen incubators in New Mexico, and leaders in the food-based-business movement want to turn the heat up under this promising economic-development sector.

Chris Madrid, director of economic development for Rio Arriba County, sees food-based entrepreneurism as a way to reverse population loss and economic decline in the state’s rural areas — and to offset “leakage” of money to other states that produce more than 90 percent of the food consumed in New Mexico. Continue reading

Banks Work Around the Clock to Thwart Cyber Crooks

Eddie Ho, chief information officer at Los Alamos National Bank

By Eddie Ho, Chief Information Officer at Los Alamos National Bank

The Department of Homeland Security in 2004 deemed October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month — a time to raise public consciousness about the ever-more-sophisticated ways in which criminals are trying to steal from working people, businesses and the financial institutions in which they put their money for safekeeping.

But financial institutions think about this problem 365 days a year. Banks invest enormous resources to protect individual and commercial customers from financial security breaches.

Financial institutions have strengthened cybersecurity defenses by embedding chips into credit and debit cards and requiring customers to use two-part authentication to access accounts and bank online. Los Alamos National Bank has used two-factor authentication for all online banking access for many years. Continue reading

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.

Businesses and governments often operate in isolation, unmindful of how their operations or policies affect others, Lundstrom said in an interview with Finance New Mexico, and this can put them at cross purposes. In McKinley County, she broke with that tradition by introducing an economic development model founded on collaboration and peer support. Continue reading