~150 Funding Opportunities for New Mexico Small Businesses

updated 1/13/21

You've probably heard that 50% of businesses fail within the first 5 years. Being an entrepreneur or owning a small business isn't known for being a sure thing. According to the Small Business Administration, this fact holds true across industries. So, whether your business is in retail, food, travel, construction - the rate of success is essentially the same, across the board.


The SBA also says the four main reasons why small businesses fail are lack of funds, poor management, faulty business model, and ineffective marketing. Failure in any of these areas is ultimately due to lack of strategic planning. And, strategic planning is only as good as the research you do. And research takes time. To help local businesses increase your chance of survival, I will be sharing what I know and doing a lot of research on all of these topics.


Lack of money is the thing business owners will readily admit is an issue. It is the number one reason for business failure and it is an even more pressing issue in 2020. So, my first post with resources to support small businesses in New Mexico is all about the money.


Note: I'm not promoting any particular service or institution. YOU need to put in the time to find the best option for you.


Ways to Get Funded

You don't need to be independently wealthy to start and run a business. In fact, a relatively large number of businesses need less than $5,000 to get started (and a relatively large number of independently wealthy business owners are terrible at running their business.)


The primary sources of funding for start ups comes from home equity and personal assets, personal credit cards, and personal savings. But, there ARE other ways to get the money you need for your business. It just requires patience, perseverance, and time. And planning. Never forget the planning. (The majority of funders will want to see your business plan.)

Loans

Banks don't try to tell you how to run your business, they don't take any of the profit, they don't own any part of the business, and they are easier to access than investors.


But banks, primarily fund wealthier white men. Minorities - women and people of color - are half as likely to start a business with the support of a bank loan.


They also make it extremely difficult to get a loan, especially if you have a credit score below 700, if you have low cash flow, if you lack collateral, or if it's your first business or a business that is just starting up. It's quite shocking that banks are so narrow-minded about this, considering the impact small businesses have on the economy.


If you have good credit, some collateral, and a business plan, it may be a good option for you. Just make sure to learn all the terminology and read the small print before signing.


FYI: Credit Unions tend to approve more loan requests than big banks. And, there are many nonprofits that provide loans.

Business Line of Credit / Inventory Financing

A business line of credit is like a business loan crossed with a credit card. It is more flexible than a business loan and you only pay interest on what you use. And as long as you don't go over your limit, you can pay it back on your own schedule. To get a business line of credit you need to show you've put personal investments into your business, you aren't losing money, and you have industry experience. You also need a good credit score and a business plan.


If you have a lot of your cash tied up in your inventory, you may be able to get Inventory Financing, which is a line of credit secured by your inventory.


Micro-Finance

These are financial services targeting entrepreneurs, individuals, and small businesses who lack access who lack access to traditional banking and related services, such as microcredit, loans to economically disadvantaged people, savings and checking accounts, insurance, payment systems, and more.


Microfinance services are designed to help people from poor population segments, the marginalized, and those who are geographically isolated become financially self-sufficient.


Peer to Peer Lending

It sucks that Peer to Peer lending is not included on most lists about small business funding options. It's like a mutual aid system of financial support where you get a loan from another individual or group. P2P is an approachable form of connecting businesses with investors. Peer to Peer lending was born from growing technology, mass collaboration, and social trends.


Like banks, you have a better chance at getting financial support if you have good credit. A big difference, though, is P2P platforms will allow you to use your story to convince funders to ignore some dodgy credit history and invest in your business. This is great since credit scores don't actually reflect how good a person is with money management and ignore thigs like debt from abusive relationships or medical bills.


If you want to learn more, Investopedia has a lot of useful information about P2P lending. And the SBA issued a brief about P2P being a viable alternative for funding.

Roll Over Business Start Ups (ROBS)

There are three ways you can use your 401(k) to fund your new business:

  1. cash out funds

  2. borrow against them

  3. use a rollover for business startups.

The only option that does not result in interest charges, taxes, or penalties is a rollover for business startup. ROBS allows you to start a business or purchase a business with your retirement savings without paying early withdrawal fees or tax penalties. These transactions are not easy, so you should find a ROBS provider with experience. A few are listed below.


Investors

Have friends or family with access to capital? If you are completely confident you and they are able to mix personal with business, pitch the idea to them for a loan. Just make sure your pitch includes a set timeline for payments and interest. And, if you've been in business a while, you may be able to look to customers or suppliers for a loan or investment.


Angel Investors will pony up money for stake in the company. It's not just Shark Tank or the random wealthy person you meet. Unlike venture capitalists, who invest huge money in businesses that are likely to give them an almost immediate return, Angel Investors recognize that profitability takes time for most of us.


If Angel investments looks like an path you want to take, be prepared for a long process and check out this Forbes article with 20 tips. If you do find an investor, here's a free template for a promissory note that will lay out the terms of the loan.


Grants

There are a lot of grant opportunities for women, minorities, and veterans. Probably because the banking industry makes it difficult for these groups to get a loan. And there are lots of government grants, usually through the economic development offices of small/local government agencies.


So, now that you have an idea of what options there are, I'm sure you want to know where to find these sources. This list of resources includes funders specific to northern New Mexico as well as national sources. Before you even start looking, though, you need a solid business plan and budgets. I can help you with that, so send me a message.


The lists include some funding opportunities that are restricted to minority business owners, women business owners, Native American business owners, and artists/musicians. The grants that are COVID-19/pandemic relief grants are grouped together and come after the general Grants section.


Free or inexpensive resources, trainings, mentors, and consultants that support small businesses in New Mexico.


DEER HEART CONSULTING

link

That's me. I provide hands-on, one-on-one support to small business owners, helping strengthen their business fundamentals from vision to strategy to systems to marketing. I have experience in grant writing and government contracts, if that is a route you think your business will take.







CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

link

Provides one-on-one support, technical support, connection to resources, and guidance navigating other Albuquerque agencies.


CITY OF SANTA FE OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

link

Promotes local business development and expansion.


COFFEE & CREATIVES

link

A Facebook and meet-up group for creative small businesses

Many thanks to Joe Cordillo, one of the group admins, for providing many useful resources for this list. He works over at Ureeka.biz. He is compiling a list of grants, loans, investment opportunities and pitch competitions using Airtable.

FINANCE NEW MEXICO

link

Shares a regularly updated list of COVID-19 financial support opportunities


FIRST NATIONS OWEESTA CORPORATION

link

Provides the training and technical assistance needed to get Native Community Development Financial Institution (NCDFI) up and running.


FREELANCERS UNION

link

Provides a list of resources


MINORITY DEVELOPMENT BUSINESS AGENCY - NEW MEXICO MDBA BUSINESS CENTER

link

The local office of the the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency, which is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises. The staff can help you figure out funding if your are looking to grow in size, scale and/or capacity.


NERD WALLET

Has a Small Business Loan Calculator where you can get an idea of how much your payments would be for a given loan amount or how large of a loan you can afford to pay each month. This same page also lists pros and cons for various SBA lenders.


NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

link

Staff will walk you through different funding opportunities. They also have an extensive Business Resource Directory that covers the entire state of New Mexico. Funding opportunities are listed below.


NEW MEXICO SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER NETWORK

link

A network of experienced business people who introduce entrepreneurs to global trade resources. The site also has lots of resources and templates for small business owners to use.


NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT (NCNMEDD)

link

The regional Council of Governments for Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Taos, Colfax, Mora, San Miguel, Los Alamos, and Sandoval counties. They administer grants from the US Economic Development Administration. Funding opportunities are listed below.


REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

link

A nonprofit that provides technical assistance to facilitate job growth in Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos, and the municipalities and Native American Pueblos therein. Funding opportunities are listed below.


SANTA FE COUNTY BUSINESS RETENTION & EXPANSION

link

Part of the Growth Management Department. They will connect businesses with resources, funding opportunities, networking, marketing and more.


SCORE

Provides free and confidential mentoring to small business entrepreneurs through on-going relationships with highly experienced and knowledgable volunteer mentors. I can attest to the fact that they are awesome.


SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)

link

A federal agency fully dedicated to supporting small businesses. They have a plethora of resources and guides, such as the Small Business Resource Guide - New Mexico Edition 2020. Funding opportunities are listed below.


UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO BUREAU OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (BBER)

link

Provides research and information services for businesses and economic development organizations. BBER maintains a socioeconomic data bank and serves as a repository for U.S. Census Bureau data.


UREEKA.BIZ

link

A single platform where entrepreneurs have access to the people, programs and connections they need to grow.


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS (VA) SMALL AND VETERAN BUSINESS UTILIZATION

link

Provides aid, counsel, assist, and protect the interests of small and Veteran business concerns


VETERANS BUSINESS OUTREACH CENTER

link

Provides entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard and reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.


Besides banks and credit unions, you can try to get a loan from these organizations


CAPITAL CERTIFIED DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

link

Funds small businesses in Texas and New Mexico


ENCHANTMENT LAND CERTIFIED DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (ELCDC)

link

A leading private, non-profit organization financing business loans throughout New Mexico (and El Paso, Texas.)


NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

  • Rural Efficient Business Program provides funding for rural and agriculture businesses to reduce energy consumption, increase profits, and explore ways to implement renewable energy systems.

  • NM Collateral Assistance Program provides cash to cover collateral shortfalls

  • Through their Business Finance Finder a small business or entrepreneur submits their finance needs and a project description, which is then emailed to a list of funders.


NEW MEXICO FINANCE AUTHORITY

Created by the New Mexico Legislature in 1992 to finance infrastructure projects. They have a mission-driven philosophy, low interest rates, and no loan fees. Grant link below.


NEW MEXICO SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (NMSBA) by LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY & SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES

link

A joint project between the two labs which provides small businesses access to scientists and engineers to help solve technical problems. They have given nearly $60 million in grants through this project.


NEW MEXICO SMALL BUSINESS INVESTMENT CORPORATION

link

Dedicated $25 million to support small businesses during the pandemic. These are the companies administering those funds.

  • Loan Fund is a nonprofit organization that offers business loans and lines of credit up to $500,000 throughout New Mexico.

  • DreamSpring a is a nonprofit registered New Mexico small business loan company that increases access to business credit, offers loans, and provides training throughout New Mexico.

  • Lift Fund is a nonprofit agency that provides small business loans to those who do not have access to capital from typical lenders. They also provide business and financial training for entrepreneurs.

  • Homewise is a nonprofit organization that provides business real estate loans up to $375,000 in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.


NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT

  • NCNMEDD Revolving Loan Fund provides $15,000 - $100,000 that must be leveraged, so are best for projects that will cost between $100,000 and $1 million.

  • NCNMEDD Working Now Revolving Loan Fund helps small businesses affected by the pandemic with expenses like payroll, rent, inventory, marketing, ecommerce development, personal protective equipment and small capital improvements. They'll provide technical assistance throughout the life of the loan.


REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

link

A nonprofit that provides private investment opportunities and technical assistance to facilitate job growth in Los Alamos, Mora, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Taos, and the municipalities and Native American Pueblos therein. Grants listed below

  • RDC Team / Manufacturing Fund is a no-interest loan up to $20,000 for technology and manufacturing businesses

  • RDC Tribal Economic Diversity Fund gives grants from $1,000 to $8,000 to businesses owned by federally recognized tribes or businesses that have 51% or more ownership by an enrollee. Small window for applications begins in July.


SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Small Business Administration (SBA) - loans are through select banks and come with a guarantee from the SBA which helps lowering a bank's risk.

SUN MOUNTAIN CAPITOL

link

New Mexico Recovery Fund is a direct lending facility designed to help New Mexico based businesses make it through the current crisis. The money comes from the State Private Equity Investment Program and can offer differential interest rates (i.e. low) in order to support economic development. This program is for businesses with 40 or more employees.


US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE - RURAL DEVELOPMENT - NEW MEXICO

link

Grant listed below

WOMEN'S ECONOMIC SELF SUFFICIENCY TEAM (WESST)

link

WESST also provides resources, but since my attempts to talk with someone fell flat, I'll just list them as a funding opportunity.








DREAMSPRING

link

(formerly called Accion) A micro-lender headquartered in Albuquerque serving Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Their core values are passion, pioneering spirit, integrity, excellence, and accountability.


CDC SMALL BUSINESS FINANCE

link

A nonprofit that helps people get loans when others deny them


GRAMEEN AMERICA

link

Supports entrepreneurial women who live in poverty build business to enable financial mobility


KIVA

link

A crowdfunding loans and unlocking capital for the underserved, improving the quality and cost of financial services, and addressing the underlying barriers to financial access around the world.


LIFT FUND

link

A nonprofit agency that provides small business loans to those who do not have access to capital from typical lenders. They also provide business and financial training for entrepreneurs.


OPPORTUNITY FUND

link

Provides micro-loans to businesses predominantly for those owned by low- and moderate-income immigrants, people of color, and women.


This list of grants is by no means complete, but I hope to add to it regularly.

COVID-19 /. pandemic relief grants are listed in the next section.


AMBER GRANT

link

Has small business grants for women. And, they will help you find loans and other grant opportunities.


CARTIER WOMEN'S INITIATIVE

link

For women entrepreneurs


CITY OF SANTA FE ARTS & CULTURE DEPARTMENT

link

Micro grants for artists


COMCAST RISE

link

A multi-year commitment to provide marketing, creative, media, and technology services to Black, Indigenous and People of Color that own a small business.


FEDEX SMALL BUSINESS GRANT

link


GRANTSFORWOMEN.ORG

link

IDEA CAFE Small Biz Grant Center

link

NATIVE AMERICAN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (NABDI)

Link

Funds feasibility studies

NAV.COM

link

A small business grant


NEW MEXICO GRANT WATCH

link

Provides info and links to for-profit and non-profit grants


OPERATION HOPE

A nonprofit that provides training, support, and funding for entrepreneurs in low-wealth communities through their Small Business Development Program

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

  • RDC Micro Grants is a competitive grant that gives businesses up to $2,500 to help sustain or grow without them having to provide collateral

  • RDC Tribal Economic Diversity Fund gives grants from $1,000 to $8,000 to businesses owned by federally recognized tribes or businesses that have 51% or more ownership by an enrollee. Small window for applications begins in July.

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE - RURAL DEVELOPMENT - NEW MEXICO

Business & Industry CARES Act - pandemic support


US DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE - MINORITY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

link

Shares grant opportunities for minority owned businesses looking to grow in size, scale and capacity.


Some of the grant opportunities are not restricted to New Mexico businesses.


THE ALBUQUERQUE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION & UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL NEW MEXICO

They teamed up to offer a COVID-19 Emergency Action Fund.


ALL TOGETHER NEW MEXICO FUND

link

Has funds to fill the gap left by government support.


AMAZON

link

Relief Fund


CERF+ THE ARTIST'S SAFETY NET

Emergency Assistance funds for artists


CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE:

Small Business Economic Development Grant is a one-time grant of $10,000 to help with pandemic recovery.


COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO

link

Set up a Together Las Cruces Fund in response to COVID-19.


GRANT STATION

link

Has list of grant opportunities relating to the pandemic


LOS ALAMOS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

link

Set up Nonprofit Emergency Response Funds, as a hub for accepting donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses and distributing 100% of those funds rapidly to nonprofits, with priority to those on the front lines of COVID-19 response.


LOWES

link

COVID-19 relief for rural small businesses


NATIONAL CONGRESS OF AMERICAN INDIANS (NCAI)

Two COVID relief grants, due to funding from Google.


NAVAJO CARES ACT, BUSINESS & ARTISAN RELIEF GRANT

link


NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS

link

Link to CARES Act Grant Program


NB3 FOUNDATION

link

Created the a COVID-19 Response Fund. This donor driven fund will support two primary areas within Native American communities: Access to nutritional food and clean water and Access to education opportunities and youth development. Over the next several weeks, this COVID-19 Response Fund will directly support families and children living within the Navajo Nation, New Mexico and tribes in South Dakota.


NEW MEXICO ASSOCIATION OF GRANTMAKERS

link

Has a list of COVID-19 response grants primarily available to nonprofits and artists but also communities and businesses.


NEW MEXICO FINANCE AUTHORITY

Managed the Small Business Recovery Fund, a COVID-19 response program.


NEW MEXICO EARLY CHILDHOOD FUNDERS GROIUP

link

Providing COVID-19 Emergency Response grants to support critical gaps in services that affect infants, toddlers, and their families during the COVID-19 public health emergency.


OPERATION HOPE

Has a Mini Grant in response to COVID-19


PNM

link

for Small Business Customers


POEH CENTER

link

Resources for Native Artists


SANTA FE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

link


TAOS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

link


THORNBURG FOUNDATION

link

Has $240,000 in grants to support nonprofit organizations serving the homeless, the hungry, children, and families in Santa Fe and Albuquerque who are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


VERIZON SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY FUND

link

A pandemic response grant for women, people of color, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs


ZAPIER

link

Small Business COVID Assistance for their small business customers


GUIDANT FINANCIAL

link

Highly experienced and is said to have excellent customer service, and offers free audit support


BUSINESS FUNDING TRUST

link

Specializes in sole proprietors


FRANFUND

link

Helps you purchase or start a franchise


BENETRENDS

link

Has been around a long time so knows what they're doing.


MY SOLO401K

link

Has the lowest set up fees



These Peer to Peer groups are not restricted to New Mexico small businesses.


CREDIBLE

link


FUNDING CIRCLE

link


LENDING CLUB

link


LENDING TREE

link


LENDIO

link


LOANS UNDER 36

link


MONEVO

link


PEERFORM

link


PROPSER

link


UPSTART

link



Some of these Angel Investor groups are located in New Mexico and others fund specific demographic groups of business owners.


37 ANGELS

link

Funding women-owned businesses


ANGEL CAPITAL ASSOCIATION

link

A trade association of investment groups


ANGEL INVESTMENT NETWORK

link

Connects entrepreneurs with investors


ARCVIEW

link

Funds cannabis startups


FEMALE FOUNDERS FUND

link

Funds women-owned businesses


FUNDZ

link

A database of start-ups, has a regularly updated extensive list of investors.


GOLDEN SEEDS

link

Invests in women entrepreneurs


LIFE SCIENCE ANGELS

link

Invests in health-industry businesses


NEW MEXICO ANGELS

link

The only New Mexico accredited group of investors focused on investing in early-stage companies in the southwest.


PIPELINE ANGELS

link

Invests in women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs.


THE PINK CEILING

link

Has is an incubator that lets women-owned start ups submit a pitch. If you're selected, she shared with a network of investors.

WOMEN'S CAPITAL CONNECTION

link

Funds women-owned businesses


WOMEN FOUNDERS NETWORK

link

Connects women-founded businesses with women venture capitalists.



SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION - FIND INVESTOR

link

SBA has a page where you can look up SBICs by name, industry, and state.

ABQid

link

Long-term support for New Mexico entrepreneurs


ARCH VENTURE

link

Invest in businesses that are working to prevent, detect, and cure disease


ARROWHEAD INNOVATION FUND

link

Invests seed/early-stage in promising technologies developed in or licensed by New Mexico Start-Ups


ASPEN VISTA CAPITAL

link

Early stage tech/software


BLUESTONE VENTURE CAPITAL

link

Invests in new Life Sciences businesses


CAMINO REAL CAPITAL PARTNERS

link

Innovators and emerging technologies


COTTONWOOD TECHNOLOGY FUND

link

Focuses on hard-science, pre-seed and early stage funding


EPIC VENTURES

link

Early-stage tech investors


FLYWHEEL VENTURES

link

Invests in seed-stage and early-stage companies with solutions that address key global challenges in digital services, infrastructure technology, energy technology, and water technology.


INTERNATIONAL VENTURE FUND

link

Provides seed and early stage equity provider with an investment focus on high growth rate business opportunities that have a global appeal and are based in its primary target markets ofArizona, Hawaii, New Mexico and Utah.


NEW MEXICO COMMUNITY CAPITAL

link

Provides culturally appropriate tools for success to emerging Native American-owned businesses, Native families, and tribal enterprises.


NEW MEXICO START UP FACTORY

link

Invests in laboratories technology


NEW STATE INVESTMENT COUNCIL - DIRECT EQUITY INVESTMENTS

link

The NM-SIC may make equity and /or debt investments directly in New Mexico businesses. It's managed by Sun Capital. Email them for info.


NMA VENTURES

link

Invests in technology (but not biotech or pharmaceuticals)


PHOENIX VENTURE PARTNERS

link

Invests in Advanced Materials and Device innovations


SIGNAL PEAK VENTURES

link

Invests in early-stage technology companies across the US


TRAMWAY VENTURE PARTNERS

link

Seed and early stage in Tech and Life Sciences companies specializing in MedTech, HealthTech, Biotech. Notable investment is Armonica Technologies.


VERGE FUND

link


The small business funding information in this post is only useful if the people that need it see it. So, please share among your networks.


And, please credit Deer Heart Consulting if you share information from this post. I recommend sharing the URL because I regularly update it as I find new opportunities or if anything else changes. If you know of a funding opportunity that's not listed, please post in the comments or send me a message.



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