Film-Friendly Businesses Can Help Diversify State’s Economy

Marisa Jimenez

Marisa Jimenez at Santa Fe Studios

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. 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. 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. 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