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The KUNM news team's coverage of the 2020 legislative session and its impacts

YNMG & COVID: Down To Business

Hannah Colton / KUNM


In episode 38, we're talking about the state's small businesses struggling to hang on during the shutdown and what resources they can find from government. We also try and find out what the holdup is with the federal relief money destined for the state's businesses. 

We talk to Bianca Encinias, executive director for the South Valley MainStreet, about special problems facing the popular mom-and-pop shops in Albuquerque's neighboring area. We also hear from Emily Esterson, owner of E-Squared Editorial Services, about troubles she's having chasing down those Small Business Administration loans.

Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia Keyes gives us the scoop on what's going wrong with those SBA funds and lets us know about what the state's offering. The state's Tax & Rev Department Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke gets into detail on those postponed taxes coming due this summer.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller tells us about the city's actions with businesses that are violating the state's shutdown order, and about a grand fund for businesses with less than five employees (more on that below). 

Lastly, Shawn Gay, general manager for the Albuquerque Press Club, reflects on the closure of the club, and how bars are more than just places to drink; they're places where people gather to process what's happening.

And a news update:  For folks who are self-employed in New Mexico and who aren’t getting unemployment, the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions is offering a 750-dollar stimulus check to the first 2,000 applicants who qualify.

We're keeping a complete list of the resources and volunteer opportunities that we find for each episode at bit.ly/YNMGhub


  • If you're in New Mexico and looking for a loan to stay afloat, the state will act as a guarantor through the COVID-19 Loan Guarantee Program
  • Manufacturers and retailers in communities that are smaller than 10,000 can access the state's LEDA funds right now, too.
  • The state's Economic Development Department has all kinds of other resources, too.
  • Support the state's local businesses by purchasing gift cards to help them stay afloat through buyNMlocal.com
  • Small businesses in Albuquerque with less than five employees can also look for the city's micro-grant fund. Those are $5,000 grants—not loans—so you don't have to pay them back. Mayor Tim Keller told YNMG that they're trying to find more cash for that fund. 

How are things going for you? We want to know. Share your quarantine stories by calling: (505) 218-7084 and leaving us a message. We could roll them into a future episode.


Your New Mexico Government is a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, and the New Mexico Local News Fund. 

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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