New Mexico offers first economic development grant to rural retail shop

(The Center Square) – A family farm owner in Torrance County received a first-of-its-kind state economic development assistance for his farm-and-ranch and hardware supply retail businesses in Estancia that he plans to expand to Mountainair.

Javier Sánchez, owner of Sánchez Farms, has owned the livestock feed and hardware store since February 2023.

The New Mexico Economic Development Department awarded his business $150,000 from its Local Economic Development Act job-creation fund, according to EDD. Sánchez will invest $250,000 in private capital in the Estancia store and more money if his plans to expand to Mountainair come to fruition.

The grant is possible because, starting in 2020, the state changed its LEDA statute to allow for investments in retail projects in communities with populations of under 15,000 people. However, this is the first time it has happened, an EDD spokesman told The Center Square.

“The project must not compete with an existing business
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