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Additional San Juan County businesses now eligible for grant funding

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com

FARMINGTON — Additional small businesses across San Juan County can get some much-needed help amid the COVID-19 pandemic because the State of New Mexico expanded grant funding eligibility.

Small businesses that employ 51-100 people are eligible for $15,000 in funding, and the revenue cap was expanded from $2 million to $5 million.

Businesses originally had be licensed to operate as of March 1, 2019 to be eligible for grant funding. That stipulation has been lifted, but businesses must still prove they lost revenue during the pandemic.

Warren Unsicker, the City of Farmington’s Director of Economic Development, said it’s encouraging for those who opened their businesses earlier this year.

“(The previous threshold) was a huge hinderance to anyone opening their business... You have a pretty wide breadth of impact you can work from,” Unsicker said. “To be able to help out those businesses even more is huge. It’s good to be able to have more businesses that can qualify for this.”

Aztec Feed and Supply remains open, Thursday, March 19, 2020, in downtown Aztec.

San Juan County spokesperson Devin Neeley said local governments now have even more leeway to vet business operations.

Neeley also said business that were previously denied under the previous qualifications can now apply for grant funding.

For businesses that previously struggled, Neeley said they can recoup rent and utility costs from the rougher times in 2020. Neeley also said those businesses will have more money for necessities like personal protective equipment to operate in a “pandemic world.”

The cities of Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington, the town of Kirtland and San Juan County all applied for and were awarded more than $3.9 million in grant funding earlier this fall. 

That’ll be distributed to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. 

For more information on the application process for the grants, visit the following websites:

Aztec: www.aztecnm.gov

Bloomfield: www.facebook.com/BloomfieldNM

Farmington: www.fmtn.org

Kirtland: www.facebook.com/townofkirtlandnm

San Juan County: www.SJCounty.net/BizGrant

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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