LEDA Program Boosts Local Economic Development

By Finance New Mexico and William Fulginiti, Executive Director of the New Mexico Municipal League

Tucumcari’s Odeon Theatre, which received funding in 2015

Tucumcari’s Odeon Theatre, which received funding in 2015

The City of Tucumcari generates $110,000 each year for economic development projects from a local tax on gross receipts, and the community gets lots of mileage from it.

In 2015, the city collaborated with the Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corporation to invest locally generated tax revenue in four private projects through a process allowed by the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA). Continue reading

Businesses Find Advice at UNM Small Business Institute

By Finance New Mexico

SBI client with UNM Anderson students and UNM professor Dr. Raj Mahto; courtesy UNM Anderson School of Management website

SBI client with UNM Anderson students and UNM professor Dr. Raj Mahto; courtesy UNM Anderson School of Management website

Albuquerque transplant Chris Mayo was 47 when he decided to ditch social work and build his chimney sweep/masonry/handyman sideline into a full-time business. Within a decade, Amrak Enterprises was growing by 30 percent each year and Mayo was paying a subcontractor to help with the workload and aiming to compete with the city’s top chimney-cleaning company.

“I’m 57 years old and need to position myself to either sell the business and be a silent partner or manage a fleet of chimney sweeps,” Mayo told Finance New Mexico. To help him prepare for the future, Mayo took the advice of his friend Dimitri Kapelianis, associate professor of marketing at the University of New Mexico School of Management. Continue reading

New Mexico Angels Welcome Entrepreneurs to Monthly ‘Office Hours’ at WESST

New Mexico Angels President John Chavez at the 2016 Angel Capital Summit in Denver; photo courtesy New Mexico Angels

New Mexico Angels President John Chavez at the 2016 Angel Capital Summit in Denver; photo courtesy New Mexico Angels

The folks at WESST never stop thinking of new ways to help small businesses succeed and thus strengthen New Mexico’s economy.

The 27-year-old nonprofit’s newest partnership is with New Mexico Angels — a 501(c)6 organization that, besides its educational and promotional mission, acts as an intermediary between its members and early stage businesses that present promising investment opportunities.
NMA (www.NMAngels.com) has been around since 1999. Just this year the organization began hosting office hours from 3 to 5 p.m. on the first Monday of each month at the WESST Enterprise Center in Albuquerque so entrepreneurs can seek information and advice about financing and angel investing.

On a Mission

New Mexico Angels are affluent individuals and groups of individuals that invest their own money into growing businesses in expectation of sharing the prosperity when that company attains market leadership and goes public or is sold. In return for taking that risk, angel investors seek outstanding returns within a short period. Continue reading

Makerspaces Nurture Business Development by Offering Workspace, Tools

By Finance New Mexico

FUSE Makerspace

Photo courtesy CNM Ingenuity Inc Facebook page

Uncertainty about the commercial viability of an innovation or idea — in addition to the cost of renting or buying the machinery needed to build a working prototype — has stifled many an entrepreneurial impulse. But the makerspace movement that’s gaining a foothold in several New Mexico communities is trying to change that.

Makerspaces offer access to expensive equipment and expert mentoring that innovators need to turn a concept into something tangible. Their advocates see them as cauldrons of entrepreneurism and economic development — as early-stage business incubators. Continue reading

Local Manufacturers Empowered by Visual-Workplace Training

Visual Workshop Participant Discussion_First Choice

Left to right: Armando Soto (in Orange sweatshirt) of Relios, Phillip Vanderwall of MARPAC, Kent Dahlinger of Relios and Christina McGrady of La Puerta Originals; photo courtesy Visual Lean Institute

By Finance New Mexico

Armando Soto is a convert to the visual-workplace concept. The director of operational excellence at Albuquerque jewelry-maker Relios Inc. attended a two-day workshop this spring that was sponsored by the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership. He came away with the tools he needed to put Relios on the path to being a fully functional visual workplace.

The point of visual-workplace training, according to guest speaker Gwendolyn Galsworth, Ph.D., founder of the Visual-Lean Institute, is to “convert the physical (work) environment into a visual one” and “to share vital information about the task at hand at a glance, without speaking a word — in short, to let the workplace speak.” Continue reading

Unintended Consequences: Fraud Against Taxpayers Law Works Against Economic Development

By Randy S. Bartell, Shareholder, Montgomery & Andrews Law Firm

Well-intentioned laws are known to backfire and cause more harm than healing. And when good laws go bad, the taxpayer can suffer.

The New Mexico Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA) is an example of such legislation. Passed in 2011 to address the theft of state and local taxpayer dollars through fraudulent activity, the law contains provisions that protect people from retaliation for reporting such crimes.

The irony is that taxpayers whose interests are protected by FATA may be liable for punitive damages awarded to a public employee who reported, testified about or furthered a Fraud Against Taxpayers action. Continue reading

Woodworking Business Gets Startup Help from Accion

By Metta Smith, Vice President of Lending and Client Services, Accion

Ohel Chillon

Ohel Chillon; photos courtesy Antigua Woodwork

It’s a common conundrum for startups: The business needs money to grow, but it’s too new and untested to qualify for a loan from many traditional lenders.

But, as Regina Baca and Ohel Chillon of Antigua Woodwork discovered three months after starting their business in 2014, Accion is willing to take a chance on fledgling enterprises like theirs. The Albuquerque couple took out a loan in December of that year to purchase equipment critical to their operation. Continue reading

Nonlinear Model Helps Businesses Prep for Rapid Growth

Business growth

By Finance New Mexico

New Mexico entrepreneurs who want to start a business or take an existing venture to the next level need a model that allows the business to “scale up” — to improve profitability as demand increases for its product or service.

A scalable model attracts more investors because it equips the business to adapt to a larger market without significantly increasing its costs. And that has a positive impact on economic development in New Mexico, where a home-grown business that’s prepared for exponential growth brings more out-of-state money home. Continue reading

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