Mark Medley was working with a business consultant to recover from identity theft when he heard about Accion New Mexico–Arizona–Colorado. What Medley learned while trying to repair his credit prompted him to start a nonprofit — ID Theft Resolutions — to help others protect themselves from identity thieves and to rebound as quickly and completely as possible if their efforts fail.
Medley got a loan from Accion to help him get the nonprofit going after obtaining his designation as a 501c(3) nonprofit. Accion offers loans as small as $200 and as large as $300,000 to people who might otherwise be turned down by lenders because they are a startup or have credit problems.
Medley qualified in both cases: His credit score was destroyed by identity theft and his nonprofit was the equivalent of a startup.
By Kathy Keith, Executive Director (center); pictured with RDC team members Monica Abeita and Gail Gordon
The Regional Development Corporation and its partners are launching the 20/20 Campaign to celebrate the entrepreneurs who have started small businesses in Northern New Mexico, creating jobs, driving innovative industries and providing a solid economic base for our communities.
The 20/20 Campaign aims to recognize and support 20 high-growth companies that could potentially grow to double or triple in size within eight years — by 2020 — to become major employers in Northern New Mexico. A handful of businesses every year will be selected by the collaborating partners, which are service providers, economic development organizations, city and county governments and entrepreneurial support organizations from Española, Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Taos. The first crop of 20/20 companies will be announced on October 4th, 2012 during a “Spirit of Innovation” event.
In today’s ultracompetitive environment, businesses need to get their product or service to customers faster than ever. Shorter delivery times aren’t just good for customer satisfaction; the longer it takes to get a product from the order desk to the customer, the longer the business waits to be paid. Meanwhile, the company has its own bills to pay, including loan interest and materials invoices. The briefer an order is in production, the better. Knowing this, savvy companies implement lean manufacturing techniques to periodically evaluate their product flow and processes – and adjust as necessary for maximum efficiency.
Joseph H. Badal, Board Chair and President, NMSBIC
When avionics supplier Bendix/King and power grid connector Tres Amigas each selected New Mexico as their new administrative headquarters, the announcements represented the kind of economic development most regions aggressively seek. Bendix/King, a Honeywell subsidiary, is expected to create up to 100 new engineering and support jobs by the end of 2012. Tres Amigas, which plans to connect three regional power grids at their superstation in Clovis, will create 15-20 jobs in Clovis, 75 – 100 high-paying jobs at a new administrative office/control center in Albuquerque and untold jobs when it completes construction of a 15,000-to-20,000 square foot training center in Rio Rancho. All of these projects are examples of classic economic development: The jobs they create are new and originate outside the local area.
Suzanne C. Odom, Attorney at Law, Montgomery & Andrews, P.A.
Under competitive pressures, some employers are tempted to label workers “independent contractors” rather than employees so they can avoid paying benefits, matching Social Security and Medicare taxes, paying federal and state unemployment taxes and following employment laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act. This practice of misclassification has created substantial problems for affected employees and for the United States Treasury, the Social Security and Medicare funds, and state unemployment and workers’ compensation funds.
As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2011 so the agencies could work together and share information to reduce employee misclassification, close the tax gap and improve compliance with federal labor laws. Continue reading →
Michael Tso was 10 months into his job running a high-tech envelope-making machine at Desert Paper and Envelope in Albuquerque when his employer sent him to the New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s lean-manufacturing workshop this summer. There with other representatives of New Mexico companies he learned fundamentals of the lean manufacturing philosophy, which aims to improve business operations – and enhance competitiveness – from the shop floor to the front office.
Given the numerous products and promises of the information technology (IT) security industry and the frequent news stories about data breaches, it’s not surprising that business owners don’t know where to start when it comes to protecting themselves from information-highway robbers. Some wonder why they should spend money on sophisticated security systems when hackers can get around them.
Even if a business doesn’t hire someone to watch over its systems, it can implement some basic IT security measures to significantly reduce its vulnerability.
Doug Lee, Managing Director, WESST Enterprise Center
A digital media studio that opens soon at the 3-year-old WESST Enterprise Center business incubator in downtown Albuquerque will provide more resources to entrepreneurs and small businesses in New Mexico.
When the Comcast Digital Media Studio opens in July, WESST will have a studio to film workshops we can then stream live to all our offices in New Mexico. This means our workshops will have a uniform message for our resident and non-resident clients, regardless of whether they’re based in Albuquerque or at our satellite offices in Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell and Farmington. Of the estimated 1250 business incubators in the U.S., fewer than six have video studios.
Jennifer Craig, Regional Manager, WESST Las Cruces
Lenders often find themselves counseling people who are tired of working for others and eager to put their talents and energies into a business of their own. While someone with an entrepreneurial spirit can launch a successful venture even in an unstable economy, he’s more likely to appear serious to a potential lender or investor if he possesses — besides passion and ambition — a business plan and a grasp of the market based on thorough, objective research. He’ll need money to get the endeavor going, and business acumen can minimize rookie errors.
Matthew Miles, Commercial Loan Officer, Los Alamos National Bank
People who operate seasonal businesses often find that lines of credit make a lot more sense than traditional loans when dealing with the dramatic cash flows that are typical of such ventures. Steve and Tracy Kirkpatrick have operated in Albuquerque for 20 years as Gourmet Specialties Southwest, a Hickory Farms franchise. Before that, Steve was an employee of the Ohio-based company known for its specialty cheese, meats and other gourmet foods.
Each fall the Kirkpatricks activate their bank line of credit to purchase inventory and set up 17 seasonal kiosks and storefronts in New Mexico and West Texas. By the following January 15, they repay the line of credit in full.