CARES Act Small Business Grant Program
On December 23, 2020, the City of Rio Rancho announced that 54 Rio Rancho small businesses and non-profits will receive grant funding via the CARES Act Small Business Grant Program – please click here for complete listing.
In September 2020, the City received $465,733 in CARES Act funds from the State of New Mexico to assist small businesses and non-profits that had to severely change business operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, City staff has worked quickly to develop an extensive vetting process and award the $465,733 by the State’s December 30, 2020 deadline.
“I am pleased to announce that help is on the way,” said Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull. “Our small businesses and non-profits have been hit hard by the pandemic and, since receiving the CARES Act money, it has been our priority to award every dollar of it to assist them. I want to commend City staff who worked tirelessly with small business owners and non-profit personnel to guide them through the eligibility criteria and application process and, as a result, were able to disperse the grant funding fully so that the money was given to the maximum number of eligible applicants.”
In addition to the State’s eligibility guidelines, City staff developed a tiered system to determine funding for each business and non-profit. Each applicant applied for funding based on business continuity (rent, utilities, payroll, etc.) or business redesign (reconfiguring physical space, installing plexiglass barriers, PPE for employees, etc.). Home Based Businesses were eligible for a subset of redesign.
• Tier 1: Annual revenue^ up to $250,000 would be eligible for an award up to $4,000
• Tier 2: Annual revenue up to $500,000 would be eligible for an award up to $8,000
• Tier 3: Annual revenue up to $1,000,000 would be eligible for an award up to $15,000
• Tier 4: Annual revenue up to $1,500,000 would be eligible for an award up to $18,750
• Tier 5: Annual revenue up to $5,000,000 would be eligible for an award up to $32,100
To be eligible for Business Continuity, the applicant had to demonstrate a revenue decline by official tax documentation.
^ Annual revenue was determined by 2019 tax documentation and revenue decline was determined by official tax documentation.
In March 2020, the Federal government passed the CARES Act. The State of New Mexico received $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding to cover costs that are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Subsequent federal guidance confirmed that the States were to share CARES Act funding with local governments that had not received a direct federal appropriation. Small business assistance was deemed to be an eligible expenditure by the Federal government and the State of New Mexico.
In August 2020, the City submitted a proposal to the State for Small Business Continuity and Redesign Grant funding. The City’s proposal sought $877,500 in funding. The City was one of four local governments to receive a top score of 50. Based on the amount of funding the State made available and the requests submitted by other Cities and Counties, Rio Rancho was notified on August 31, 2020 that $465,733 had been earmarked for its use.