Steeled for Success: Las Cruces Company Grows With Help From Partnership Loan

By Taura Costidis and Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Mesilla Valley Metals owners Casey and Chancie RobertsCasey Roberts earned an MBA at the same time he was learning the family trade: welding. Today, the Las Cruces man and his wife, Chancie, own Mesilla Valley Metals, a manufacturer of pipes, structural steel, farm implements and custom-ordered metal products.

“My family has always been in the welding business,” Roberts said. “My dad was a rig welder in Farmington, where my uncle on my mom’s side owns a big fabrication shop. I always enjoyed making something and seeing results at the end of the day.” Continue reading

Honoring Veterans Through Business Support

VetpreneurBy Finance New Mexico

New Mexico is home to more than 160,000 veterans, and about half of them are under the age of 65. For those former service members interested in operating businesses, state and federal agencies can help with business formation, certification and contract acquisition that levels the playing field for vets that have spent their careers out of the private sector. Continue reading

Building a Business Reputation Starts With Basics

Customer serviceBy Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

A common complaint of people who hire specialists or tradespeople to provide a service is that the person didn’t show up as promised or didn’t even return a phone call. Sometimes all it takes to build a client base is to treat prospective customers with the basic decency you would use in personal relationships that matter to you. Continue reading

Home Is Where the Startup Is

Home-based businessBy Finance New Mexico

The blueprint for starting a home-based enterprise in New Mexico can be a simple sketch or a complicated technical drawing. It all depends on the business type and location.

Common to all businesses is the need to pick a structure, secure a Combined Reporting System number, register with the city or county, obtain required permits or certifications and decide whether to hire employees and interact with customers or to work alone as an independent contractor.

The individual working from home also must comply with zoning laws, secure a certificate of occupancy and business license and track deductible costs related to home-based businesses.

License and Registration

New Mexico’s municipal governments have rules that entrepreneurs must follow to operate from their homes. For example, a home-based business in the city of Santa Fe can’t inhabit more than a fourth of the square footage of all buildings on the property; Santa Fe County, by contrast, allows a business to occupy up to 50 percent of a dwelling.

Getting a home-based certificate of occupancy is the place to start. Applying for this certification requires filing a letter that describes the business and submitting a sketch of the floor plan that identifies the office or business space and a map of where the home is located. Some cities require home-based businesses to undergo building and fire inspections.

A business with no clientele or employees submits the basic application. A business with customers and employees also must notify the owners of all nearby homes or properties and any homeowners or neighborhood associations, demonstrate that employees and customers can park at the residence without affecting neighbors, and comply with accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The home-based employer has to register as such with the state Department of Workforce Solutions and comply with state and federal employment regulations and laws.

Once the certificate of occupancy is approved, it’s time to license the venture. Here, too, the business type and location determine how complicated this process is, which is why the aspiring entrepreneur should visit the city or county website where the business is based to research what steps are needed.

Follow the Money

Home-based businesses are entitled to claim a percentage of the expenses associated with keeping the business heated, illuminated and connected with the world.

The percentage that’s deductible on the Internal Revenue Service’s Form 8829, “Expenses for Business Use of Your Home,” is proportional to how much of the home’s total square footage is occupied by the business, though there are limits to home much can be claimed.

The owner should determine which formula provides the best tax advantage: tracking and itemizing each eligible expense, such as utility costs and mortgage interest, or using the simplified method of multiplying the occupied square footage by an amount set by the IRS (in the 2016 tax year, it was $5 per square foot).

The state’s largest cities and counties retain business ombudsmen to help businesses in their jurisdictions understand the rules that apply to home-based businesses. In small or remote communities, county and municipal websites are the places to start.

For information about taxes and deductions related to home-based businesses, turn to workshops at WESST or the Small Business Development Center Network. Find these and other resources by clicking on a community listed at https://growitnm.org/municipal-index/.

Download 526_Home Is Where the Startup Is PDF

State’s Gross Receipts Tax: It’s Complicated

New Mexico Gross Receipts TaxBy Finance New Mexico

New Mexico’s gross receipts tax is admittedly confusing, but the state still expects businesses to follow the law and pay what they owe from the sale of property or services.

In a nutshell, GRT is a substitute for the traditional sales tax that shoppers in other states pay when they make a purchase. In New Mexico, the seller pays the tax on the sales price of a product or service even if the seller doesn’t collect it from the buyer — and even if the buyer lives out of state. Continue reading

WESST’s Holiday Pop-Up Shop Takes Artists Beyond Workshops

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

willajunejewelry and Reuseful Candles

willajunejewelry and Reuseful Candles are two of over 20 participants expected at WESST’s pop-up

The “pop-up retail” trend has helped many artists and entrepreneurs sell products and launch businesses in cities throughout the country. Pop-up shops allow artists and retailers to use temporarily donated commercial space to sell wares and land new customers.

Albuquerque’s WESST Enterprise Center hosted a holiday pop-up shop last year to showcase its artisan and “maker” clients as part of Manufacturing Day activities. The event was so successful that the nonprofit business development and training organization has scheduled the second incarnation for Friday, October 20. Continue reading

Manufacturers Reach Future Workers, Customers Through Mfg Day

Glass-Rite Mfg Day 2016 tour

Manufacturing Day 2016 tour at Glass-Rite; photo by Jane Phillips Photography

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

October 2017 marks the third year that Albuquerque-based window and door manufacturer Glass-Rite is participating in Manufacturing Day, a nationwide celebration of manufacturing and its impact on local economies.

“People want to see the manufacturing facility, so we walk them through it and try to have all the equipment operating — our automated glasscutter, frame welder — it’s what people are interested in,” said Steve Hoberg, vice president of sales and public relations for the company that employs about 30 workers. Continue reading

Annual Review Yields Stronger JTIP Program

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

JTIP recipient Insight Lighting

JTIP recipient Insight Lighting; photo Jane Phillips photography

The Job Training Incentive Program, the economic development tool better known as JTIP, is responsible for creating 10,000 New Mexico jobs since 2011, according to the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD).

Since 1972, JTIP has been providing incentives for qualifying employers who are expanding or relocating in the state. Incentives include money for on-the-job training for up to six months and reimbursement of up to 75 percent of an approved employee’s wages and training costs at an approved New Mexico public education institution. Continue reading

Landscape Business Puts Down Roots With Help From Accion

By Brinn Pfeiffer, Accion Communications Specialist, and Sandy Nelson, Finance New Mexico

Oscar's Tree Service

Oscar’s Tree Service in Santa Fe

Before Oscar Apodaca talked to Accion, his Santa Fe tree service business was like many growing entrepreneurial enterprises — operating on the edge of society and extremely vulnerable — a position that could be significantly improved by greater access to capital.

Oscar and his wife, Charito, started their full-service landscape business on Rufina Street in 2008 after Oscar left his job at a local nursery. Their dream was to turn his landscaping gig into a full-time business with a permanent home — rather than running the venture from his trailer. Continue reading

LANB Nurtures Path for Small Businesses to Thrive Through The Loan Fund

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

The Loan Fund partnership with LANBIf you’re a community bank still headquartered in New Mexico, there will naturally be businesses knocking at your door for financial advice and loans. But sometimes, due to a bank’s own regulations and requirements, some businesses won’t qualify for certain loans, and they must be turned away.

Instead of giving up on the startups, nonprofits and small businesses that may fall outside of a bank’s boundaries, institutions like Los Alamos National Bank (LANB) have found a way to keep them in New Mexico’s financial ecosystem. Continue reading