Tax Law Doesn’t Alter Definitions of Independent Contractor

Employee vs contractorBy Finance New Mexico

The new tax law passed by Congress in December 2017 aims to lower taxes for everyone, but proponents cite its overwhelming benefits to businesses. Under the new law, companies — including sole proprietors and workers in the gig economy — can deduct 20 percent of their revenue from taxable income.

This provision alone could disrupt formal relationships between employers and workers, increasing the number of people who define themselves as independent contractors. Continue reading

Return on LEDA Investment Enriches NM Economy

LEDABy Finance New Mexico

For evidence of the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA)’s power to stimulate the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, New Mexico residents need look no further than the massive industrial building at 2600 Camino Entrada in Santa Fe.

The former home of CleanAIR Systems and Caterpillar Inc. is now the world headquarters for Meow Wolf Inc., a leader in the vibrant “experience economy” that expects to employ as many as 360 highly skilled workers over the next five years. Continue reading

NM MEP Offers Crash Course in ISO Certification

By Denise Williams, Innovation Director, Northwest Region, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

New Mexico companies seeking higher-margin work often seek ISO certification, and the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NM MEP) can help them prepare to get it.

Certification with the most recent iteration of the best-known ISO quality management standard, ISO 9001:2015, is increasingly required by top-tier companies and government agencies that hire private contractors for supplies or services. Continue reading

Familiarity Doesn’t Have To Breed Contempt in Intimate Business Partnerships

Intimate partnershipsBy Finance New Mexico

One advantage of running a small business with family or friends is that the principals know and are committed to one another and the success of their enterprise. But intimate partnerships also have potential relationship-based perils, some of which could cause work-force demoralization, legal problems and even failure.

The trick to making a small venture succeed is to acknowledge these risks from the start and institute processes to contain or minimize them. Continue reading

VAF Info Sessions Prepare Companies to Apply for Funding

Venture Acceleration FundBy Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Early-stage businesses, or even those that are more established, often find it hard to land the right cash infusion, especially when traditional bank financing can be elusive. Under this common scenario, funding through the Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) could be the needed boost.

Information sessions to help businesses apply for VAF are taking place in Northern New Mexico until Feb. 9, when the application process officially opens. Applications for funding will be accepted until March 12. Continue reading

New Mexico Communities Building On-Ramps to Information Superhighway

New Mexico broadband; photo illustration by Taura Costidis/FNMBy Finance New Mexico

Just as public utilities and the interstate highway system made New Mexico more accessible and habitable over the past century, the internet — today’s information superhighway — is what links the state’s entrepreneurs with potential customers and partners around the world.

In a state with far-flung rural villages and growing urban hubs, such infrastructure enhancements as fast and reliable internet service determine whether residents are isolated or engaged and whether enough taxable revenue can be generated through economic development to improve public safety and community amenities. Continue reading

Keeping Commitments Key To Building Government Contract Résumé

Build government contracting resume

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico
Reviewed by Adolfo Vasquez, deputy director, SBA New Mexico district

Winning a government contract requires diligence and deliberate focus. Fulfilling it and building a résumé on outstanding performance are even more demanding.

Failure to perform as promised — depriving a government agency of the expected product or service — will sour future opportunities for underperforming or defaulting businesses. And it might result in serious financial and legal problems for the business that breaches a contract. Continue reading

WESST Wraps Banner Year; New Programs Expected in 2018

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Dineland

Dineland Protection Services Inc., photo courtesy Chris Hunter, WESST

WESST, the statewide nonprofit best known for consulting and training programs that support entrepreneurs and small businesses, hit a milestone in 2017: It made its largest loan ever. WESST loaned $150,000 to Dinéland Protection Services Inc. of Fruitland to help the company launch the security services it provides to the Navajo coal mine on the Navajo Nation.

While the bulk of WESST’s services focus on one-on-one consulting and deep-dive business workshops, WESST also wants to make sure its clients have the funds needed to grow their businesses. Kim Blueher, vice president of lending at WESST, said the loan program is about 10 percent of the overall services they offer, but it makes a significant impact. Continue reading

Farmington Manufacturer Seeks Quality-Management Goal With Help From MEP

PESCO truck

Courtesy photo

By Sandy Nelson and Taura Costidis for Finance New Mexico

Brothers Kyle and Jim Rhodes have big ambitions for the family business they’ve owned since 1970. It’s not enough that their Farmington company Process Equipment & Service Company Inc. (PESCO) has a solid reputation as a manufacturer of natural gas and oil production equipment and that the company continues to grow even as gas prices rise and fall, employing more than 300 people and serving national and international customers. Continue reading

Cedar Crest Woman Brews Up Business With Help From Nonprofit Lender

Hannah Johnson in front of Cabra Coffee

Hannah Johnson

By Finance New Mexico

Hannah Johnson left Cedar Crest, New Mexico, to get a biology degree, and after a stint in shorebird conservation, she returned to start a coffee shop in her hometown in the eastern Sandia Mountain foothills.

The owner of Cabra Coffee, which opened in spring 2017, started making quality coffee at college. “My first job working in the industry was when I was going to school at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. It was just the coffee shop in the school, but we were getting coffee from a cafe in Seattle, and they would come down and train us. That’s where I first learned how to make coffee professionally.” Continue reading