Local Business Briefs

Farmington Daily Times

Start-up gets big loan from WESST
A non-profit business development organization recently made the biggest loan in its history to a female-owned security business based in Fruitland.
WESST loaned $150,000 to Dinéland Protection Services, Inc., a company that provides security services to a coal mine located on the Navajo reservation.  
Dinéland Protection Services, Inc. first went to Bank of the Southwest for financing, but the bank sent the startup business to WESST, which “supported Dinéland through the process of forming a new business and worked with Dinéland’s CPA, Shirley D. Armstrong, to set up and manage the business financial systems,” the non-profit said in a press release.
“We were excited to partner with NTEC, Bisti Fuels, Bank of the Southwest and Dinéland Protection Services, Inc., to originate the largest loan in WESST history to provide security services to the Navajo coal mine,” said Kim Blueher, VP of Lending at WESST.  “Dinéland will be hiring 15 people to provide services for the mine and continue to work with WESST on their business and financial systems,” said Chris Hunter, MBA, Regional Manager at WESST Farmington.   
The Navajo Transition Energy Company mine sells coal to the Arizona Public Service Company (APS) for its power plant.  
WESST is an economic development organization that provides training, consulting and loans to entrepreneurs across New Mexico as well as business incubation services to members. It has offices in  Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell, and Santa Fe.

Suites hotel honored for performance
Its parent company recognized Home2 Suites by Hilton Farmington/Bloomfield with the Top New Hotel Performance Award and Connie Pride Merit Award “for outstanding achievements during the past year.” 
The honors were announced at the brand awards held in Las Vegas earlier this year. The all-suite hotel is owned by Farmington Hotel Investors Group and managed by Capri Hospitality Management.  
 “Our dedicated team works hard to deliver guests the comfort and convenience they expect, whether they are with us for one night or an extended stay,” said Wayne Hellberg, general manager. “We are honored as a collective team to receive this outstanding service distinction. We take great pride in striving to deliver the friendliest and most helpful service along with outstanding cleanliness each and every stay” 
“The Connie Pride Merit Award is presented to the brand’s top performing hotels overall and was measured in various categories such as cleanliness, condition, adherence to brand standards, staff service and quality of the hotel’s physical accommodations,” a press release stated. “The property was honored as a brand leader with special recognition including two unique trophies.”
The hotel is located at 777 S. Browning Parkway in Bloomfield.

Rio Rancho financial firm expands to Farmington
Rio-Rancho-based estate planning firm Oxford Wealth Advisors has quit commuting and opened its second office in Farmington at 132 N. Wall Avenue. 
“Since the inception of Oxford Wealth Advisors, my staff and I have traveled weekly to Farmington to assist clients,” said Lynn Thurgood, founder and owner of Oxford Wealth Advisors. “The new office in Farmington will allow us to be more accessible and convenient for our clients.”
Founded by Thurgood in 1999 and based in Rio Rancho, the firm serves clients throughout the state and the Southwest specializing in “creating comprehensive retirement plans that help clients lead their life to a comfortable future,” according to a press release.
“When you give out good, good comes back,” said Thurgood. “The great residents of Farmington have welcomed us with open arms and their commitment to Oxford Wealth Advisors has allowed us to open this second office.”
Oxford Wealth Advisors in Farmington is now open by appointment only. A grand opening event is planned for later this year. 

Mattress firm gives back
American Home Furniture & Mattress’s two-week Giving Back Event in June was the most successful one yet, the business announced recently. 
“Many thanks to our customers who have responded so positively to this promotion, said Ted Leveque, president of American Home. “We are glad to be able to support the food banks and the important services that they provide.”
The firm donated 5 percent of sales to local food banks, raising enough money from customers to provide more than 310,000 meals to people in need. 
“Substantial donations will be made to the Roadrunner Food Bank in Albuquerque, the Food Depot in Santa Fe, Echo Food Bank in Farmington and the Durango Food Bank in Durango, Colorado,” The company announced. 
This is the fourth time American Home has raised money for food banks. Over the past several years the business  has contributed enough cash to supply more than 860,000 meals.