October 10, 2014

Udall, Heinrich Announce More than $780,000 to Spur Entrepreneurship, Economic Development

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced more than $780,000 in federal funding for two projects to spur economic development in New Mexico. These funds, made available by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), will increase access to microloans for small businesses and support the renovation the iconic Santo Domingo Trading Post.

The EDA has awarded $270,000 to support the implementation of ACCION New Mexico's Presto Loan program to promote and develop entrepreneurship throughout New Mexico. The program, which provides loans of up to $8,000, targets low-to-moderate income, minority, women, and veteran entrepreneurs. During its initial pilot program, ACCION provided consumers with 285 loans totaling $939,000.

The EDA also provided $511,118 to fund phase II of the renovation to the historic Santo Domingo Trading Post, located on Santo Domingo Tribal lands along the Route 66 corridor. The project revives an historic Native American tourist attraction and increases retail opportunities for native artists who produce world-renown jewelry, pottery and other artisan goods, which will stimulate the regional economy.

"Small business is the backbone of New Mexico's economy, and the EDA's partnership with ACCION will provide much-needed support to budding entrepreneurs across the state," Udall said. "Similarly, the continued restoration of Santo Domingo Trading Post, which was all but lost in a 2001 fire, will help preserve this cultural landmark and provide economic opportunities to the Pueblo's artisans."

"This grant will help bring the Santo Domingo Trading Post a step closer toward full restoration," Heinrich said. "The Trading Post plays an important role as a marketplace that helps grow the local economy. I'm also pleased the EDA has made investments in promoting entrepreneurship by funding New Mexico's ACCION Presto Loan pilot program. When women, veterans, and other aspiring entrepreneurs have the opportunity to gain access to capital to start their businesses, it helps create jobs and spurs the economy."

The EDA's Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs provide competitive investments to rural and urban projects that support construction, non-construction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects. These awards are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities.