Webinar Series Extends Economic Development Outreach Statewide

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Creating and expanding businesses is essential to economic development in rural New Mexico, and broadband internet access is essential to helping those ventures succeed. In fact, few businesses anywhere in the state can reach all potential customers without fast, reliable and affordable connections to the web.

To share information about existing resources and suggest how broadband-deficient communities can obtain better service, the New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) recently hosted a webinar under the auspices of its FundIt initiative. Continue reading

Certified ‘True’ Campaign Helps Businesses Increase Visibility, Bottom Line

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

New Mexico True State tourism departments are assigned a big task: drive visitors to cities, towns and attractions, where tourist dollars can spur the economy. When they’re successful, local businesses get a boost from increased sales.

For the New Mexico Tourism Department, much of selling the state is easy, as the Land of Enchantment’s natural beauty sells itself. And since the department’s 2012 launch of the New Mexico True campaign, businesses can leverage the visibility and heft of the state’s sales efforts by becoming certified as New Mexico True. Continue reading

Las Cruces Massage School Gets Boost From Century Bank

MTTI classroom

MTTI owner Timothy Gay, left

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Timothy Gay shopped around before securing a loan in 2013 to buy a building in downtown Las Cruces for his Massage Therapy Training Institute (MTTI). He chose Century Bank to help him secure a U.S. Small Business Administration commercial 504 loan.

“They were the nicest people to work with, which is definitely a bonus,” he said about the bank. Continue reading

Conference to Feature Business Opportunities in Local Film Industry

By Damon Scott, Finance New Mexico

Vendors wantedThe New Mexico film industry has been an economic bright spot for the past several years, helping businesses grow and weather the recession.  After state tax incentives for the industry kicked into gear in 2003, opportunities for individuals and businesses have been continually created. And industry leaders say there’s still room for growth.

Nick Maniatis, director of the New Mexico Film Office, said the industry is “as strong as it’s ever been,” with 2017 shaping up to be the third-consecutive year of record activity — defined by overall economic impact and job creation, among other markers. Continue reading

Workshops Give Business Owners Financial Foundation

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Intimidating financialsCustomers, workers, partners and associates have seen it: Business owners with incredible drive and energy who fall into the habit of working harder, not smarter.

This phenomenon may be especially true when applied to understanding business finances. And it can happen to someone who has been in business for 20 years or just two months.

A long-running program at WESST in Albuquerque has sought to change the equation when it comes to the language of business finances, which can be intimidating for both startup entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners. Continue reading

Partnership-Style Loan Helps Cedar Crest Grocer Thrive

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Triangle Grocery, Cedar Crest, NMThe era of big box retailers and internet giants like Amazon have made it easy to write off local independent businesses. But Rita Riebling, co-owner and managing partner of Triangle Grocery in Cedar Crest, has built a business that local and surrounding communities rely on. Nevertheless, you won’t hear Riebling say that running an independent grocery store is an easy task.

To stay relevant and keep business buzzing, Riebling has worked hard and made strategic moves at opportune times. She recently purchased the building that’s home to Triangle Grocery and bought out her partners so that she and her husband Morey would have controlling interest in the grocery store. Continue reading

Diversity Among Advisors Is Good for Business

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Diverse advisory teamWhether it’s a sole proprietorship or a multinational corporation, every New Mexico business needs an individual or group of people whose job it is to advise the owner or leadership team.

Those advisers might be family members or mentors in the case of a small business, or they might be experienced executives providing a larger company objective, expert feedback and wise direction as members of a formal board of directors.

Big or small, the group of people offering counsel should reflect the business’s stakeholders, most especially its customers. It should be as diverse as its audience. Continue reading

Making Manufacturers: Events Aim to Inspire Next-Generation Workers

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Young people can be hard to impress, but students from Albuquerque’s Academy of Trades and Technology (ATTHS) charter school were visibly stoked by a tour of Rader Awning during 2016 Manufacturing Day events.

ATTHS students during Manufacturing Day 2016 tours at Rader Awning (left, center) and OGB Architectural Millwork; photos Jane Phillips Photography

Before-and-after shots of the 15 ATTHS students who visited the factory where Rader manufactures awnings, shade panels and fabric products illustrate what can happen when young adults get a close look at the world of manufacturing: a transformation from bored detachment to delighted engagement. Continue reading

Employers Have Duty to Stop Employees Who Harass Co-Workers Online

Cyber harassment

By Sandy Nelson for Finance New Mexico

Employers who fail to protect employees from a co-worker’s racist, sexist or otherwise derogatory and defamatory comments on social media platforms can find themselves on the losing end of a workplace harassment lawsuit.

Case law on work-related cyber-harassment is evolving with the popularity of social media as a way for people to connect, communicate and commiserate, but one trend is clear: Courts expect employers to intervene immediately when they learn of workplace disputes spilling over onto social media, and the law increasingly considers online harassment and bullying just as egregious as the kind that happens obliquely or directly in an office or other physical job site. Continue reading

Summer Camp for Job Creators

By Damon Scott for Finance New Mexico

Silver City economic development course 2016 participants

2016 participants; courtesy © Western New Mexico University

The last day of a typical kid’s summer camp is usually reserved for the wacky and fun talent show. Silver City’s adult version, instead, culminates in the presentation of an economic development case study.

The New Mexico Economic Development Course at Western New Mexico University (WNMU) July 23 – 27 in Silver City offers much more than the title suggests. The intensive week involves a series of lectures, workshops, training, activities and instruction — all designed to motivate attendees toward one overarching takeaway: spur job creation in their communities. Continue reading