Grants will range from $5,000 to $20,000 for businesses damaged by fire
LAS VEGAS – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Saturday the launch of the Wildfire Business Assistance Grant Program, which will provide emergency assistance to business owners and self-employed individuals whose businesses have been physically damaged or have experienced reduced income due to the recent wildfires. This may interest you : USDA Announces Its Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement with California.
Governor Lujan Grisham has authorized the Department of Economic Development (EDD) to create the New Mexico Wildfire Business Assistance Grant, a new $1.5 million temporary program to support small businesses and self-employed individuals when federal aid fails.
“Communities affected by the wildfires in New Mexico have suffered terrible losses, and some of what’s gone can never be replaced,” said Governor Lujan Grisham. “But this grant program will complement federal government assistance to help businesses recover more quickly.”
Businesses that qualify for priority assistance must be within the presidential disaster declaration boundaries for the Big Hole, Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak, Cooks Peak and McBride fires. Those areas are Colfax, San Miguel and Mora counties, parts of Lincoln County (zip codes 88345 and 88312) and Valencia County (zip code 87002); and regions of Sandoval and Los Alamos counties affected by the wildfire and evacuations.
Eligible businesses may qualify to receive between $5,000 and $20,000. The available money was repurposed from the EDD’s Collateral Assistance Program, which uses federal funds.
“The governor has taken the lead in helping the EDD release these dollars so the money can be used immediately to help families and business owners,” said Department of Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes. “We know this is only a fraction of the help that is needed, but these funds are now available and can be used by any businesses and sole proprietors who have suffered losses from these terrible fires.”
Applicants are encouraged to sign up for a webinar hosted by the EDD to provide an overview of the program and application process. The informational meeting is scheduled for August 11 at 9 am. Those interested can apply here.
The application portal will be open for two weeks starting from August 15th to August 26th. If funds are still available, additional application deadlines will be announced. The program will close when funds are exhausted or on December 1, 2022.
“The Hermit Peak/Canyon Fire has caused unimaginable destruction to our life-giving watersheds and communities that many call home. As chairman of the Acequia New Mexico Commission and owner of Molino de la Isla Organics in Pecos, I have seen the destruction. I heard many stories of hardship and pleas for help,” said Ralph Vigil, 12th generation New Mexican and owner of Molina de la Isla Organics LLC in Pecos and president of the Acequia New Mexico Commission.” We have a long way to go, and we must work together to help those in need. I appreciate Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for all her efforts to make sure the fire victims get what they need. It brings a huge sigh of relief to the communities that have been affected to know that there is additional assistance to help mitigate the loss of so many.”
EDD’s Division of Outdoor Recreation played a key role in setting up the program because many of the companies forced out of business were outdoor porters and guides, some of whom not only lost income, but helped fight wildfires and emergencies.
“Building New Mexico’s outdoor economy remains a priority for Governor Lujan Grisham, and we know these jobs depend on healthy public lands and waters. Wildfires and forest closures can be devastating for these entrepreneurs,” said Axie Navas, director of the Department of Outdoor Recreation (EDD Division). “I want to encourage all businesses that have experienced physical or financial loss due to recent fire disasters to seek assistance from this emergency grant program.” In this way, we are supporting the backbone of the outdoor industry in New Mexico.”
All types of businesses qualify for assistance, including restaurants and catering services, if they can prove operations were physically damaged or affected by the fires.
To qualify, a business must demonstrate that:
To receive additional funding above $5,000, businesses must either submit an insurance claim showing fire damage or provide proof of a loss of income due to wildfires.
Grant funds can be used for construction and repair costs, operating capital, property purchases and administrative costs.
For more information about the program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-827-0300.
To further assist individuals and businesses affected by the wildfires, New Mexico’s congressional delegation introduced the Hermit Peak Fire Relief Act. The law was adopted in the House as part of the Law on National Defense and is awaiting a decision in the Senate. The legislation would require FEMA to fully compensate residents and business owners affected by the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire, which ignited federally prescribed burns.