SANTA FEThanks to a partnership between the New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) and the New Mexico Small Business Development Center (NMSBDC), 1,966 tourism-related jobs were saved in New Mexico since the beginning of the pandemic.

From Mar. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021, NMSBDC provided 5,463 hours of direct business counseling to tourism-related businesses to help identify sources of financial assistance and recommend adaptation strategies for COVID-safe business operations. Through the business counseling service, NMSBDC helped tourism-related businesses secure 467 loans and equity investments totaling $51.1 million.

“We knew from the beginning of the pandemic that we needed to be proactive in providing the tourism industry with adequate business counseling to adjust to the emergency public health order,” Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said. “By establishing this partnership in the early stages of the pandemic, we were able to offer tourism-related business owners with the coaching and support they needed to make the best decisions for their business.”

“Every type of business endured hardship from the onset of the pandemic, but we knew leisure and hospitality would be hit especially hard,” NMSBDC Executive State Director Russell Wyrick said. “By teaming up with the New Mexico Tourism Department, we were able to create a support system for businesses in most need of guidance.”

NMTD and NMSBDC established this partnership in Spring 2020 to provide tourism-related businesses with consultation and business counseling services in response to the emergency public health order.

During this partnership, NMSBDC business counselors and NMTD staff provided technical assistance with the application process for a variety of federal grant and loan programs, such as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG).

A total of $169 million through 601 loans were awarded to New Mexico entities through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Of that total, $31.3 million in loans went to veteran-owned businesses and $72.1 million went to women-owned businesses. As of Jan. 10, 2022, New Mexico entities received $62.3 million in funding through the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.