Commentary: Today, hard hit New Mexico small businesses seeking relief during the COVID-19 pandemic could soon receive $500 million in low-risk loans thanks to the recently passed Small Business Recovery Act.
Senate Bill 3, sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria (D-Albuquerque), Senator John Sapian (D-Corrales), Representative Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque), and Representative Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), delivers $400 million to small businesses and $100 million to local, municipal governments from the state’s $5 billion Severance Tax Permanent Fund in low-interest, low-risk loans. The backbone of New Mexico’s economy, small businesses have been hit exceptionally hard during the COVID-19 pandemic accounting for nearly 40% of the total estimated 160,000 New Mexicans who’re now unemployed.
“Passage of Senate Bill 3 represents an incredible investment in jumpstarting our economy and putting New Mexicans back to work,” said Representative Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque). “This is a lifeline to our small business community that often can’t access traditional lenders. These businesses enrich our lives and employ more than 40% of our neighbors.”
“Senator Candelaria and Representative Marian Matthews did an amazing job pushing through this critical lifeline for New Mexico’s small businesses.” said Representative Daymon Ely (D-Corrales).
Maximum loan amounts of $75,000 are provided in Senate Bill 3, and are intended for small businesses defined as having 100 or fewer employees and yearly net revenues of $5 million or less. Local municipalities, small governments, and nonprofits are also permitted to apply for loans under Senate Bill 5. Loans are to be administered by the New Mexico Finance Authority and in conjunction with community banks statewide. Unlike the federal Payroll Protection Program, loans under the state’s Small Business Recovery Act are much more accessible requiring no personal guarantee and no collateral to be received.
House Democrats know small, locally-owned businesses are the foundations of New Mexico’s communities and economy. The Small Business Recovery Act passed the House of Representatives in a 59-5 vote and advances to the Governor’s desk.