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How do we solve the economic-development puzzle in New Mexico? Some say it can’t be done, comparing our situation to that of the Third World and arguing that federal dollars are all that we can ultimately rely upon to fuel the state’s economy. Others claim that breaking our cycle of poverty is nearly impossible when families and children are confronted with economic burdens, barriers to educational success and few prospects for high-paying jobs. As a native New Mexican, I must disagree. However, solving this riddle comprises cultural, historical and social variables that may be unique to New Mexico alone. More >
Working with sustainable community and economic development in northern New Mexico, I notice interwoven environmental, economic and community issues impacting the built and natural environments in ways that will require changes and long-term investments in public policy, land use and resource management. It will be equally important to work collaboratively, instead of in the usual relentless, competitive manner.
On the surface, the regional issues reflect the macro challenges with stagnant employment and wages, decreasing access to financing, struggling housing recovery and increasing stress on local governments to sustain public services with decreasing state and federal support. While recent news informed More >
The Los Alamos National Laboratory Major Subcontractors Consortium (LANL MSC), in partnership with New Mexico Community Foundation, Los Alamos National Security and the Regional Development Corporation, has awarded eight economic-development grants to regional nonprofit organizations and government and tribal entities. Projects and initiatives funded include small-business incubators, formalized cluster groups or cluster associations, small-business technical-assistance providers, microlenders and/or commercial kitchens.
The LANL MSC is a collaborative of the 35 largest LANL subcontractors who pool and designate their corporate resources toward diversifying northern New Mexico’s economy. The consortium’s Economic Development Grant pool, established in 2006, provides LANL subcontractors a direct mechanism by which to More >
Back when I was running the Santa Fe Alliance for locally owned independent businesses, we had this membership rule: 51 percent or more of the business had to be owned by the person living in Santa Fe. Every now and then we’d get a call from a business owner from Bernalillo County or Río Arriba County asking if they could join the Alliance. And, always, our answer was yes, if the business was 51 percent or more owned by a person living in Santa Fe County. And every time we answered that question I challenged the board and staff More >
For a variety of reasons, rural communities face much greater challenges when it comes to economic development, as evidenced by key economic indicators. For example, urban employment now exceeds prerecession peaks, while rural America has yet to catch up to 2007 levels. And while it may appear that unemployment rates have improved in rural areas, a closer look reveals that a significant decline in labor participation explains this trend, more so than an increase in actual employment. As concerning, for the first time in our nation’s history, total rural population has begun to decline over the past several years. More >
Like many people, due to necessity, I direct most of my time, energy and thought into making a living in northern New Mexico. Northern New Mexico is the place of my birth and probably one of the toughest and most economically dry places in the country. This may not be so for everyone, but it certainly is true for many native New Mexicans or those stubborn enough to stay in a place where the traffic is going the other way. For, as so often happens, many native New Mexicans have been forced to sell their land and homes and More >
Many people in Taos see what the Taos Valley could be. Taos is a beautiful, old community with major untapped potential for growing enough food to feed a large local population. There are also people—fewer in number—who see how much quick money can be made by converting our valley into a city. A real economy is not dependent on a fraudulent, unstable financial system. Unfortunately, the Taos economy for the past 30 years has become dependent on this kind of development.
A prominent real-estate agent in Taos claims that a larger airport is essential to building a city here. He More >
Pam Roy and Mark Winne
New Mexico has rich agricultural traditions, but when you add the output of its farms and ranches, agriculture is also the state’s fourth-largest economic sector. Dairy and cattle production make up the largest components, and pecan and alfalfa production have surpassed NM’s favorite traditional food—chile. But about 98 percent of this agricultural production is exported out of state at wholesale or commodity prices.
If you want to look at an opportunity for real economic growth, you should turn to the state’s consumers, who must purchase 98 percent of their food from out-of-state sources. In a report commissioned More >
The greater Santa Fe region, like most communities today, faces a growing need to develop a healthy and resilient economy, address social inequality and achieve environmental sustainability—needs that have been exacerbated by recession-driven constraints on public and philanthropic funds. The concept of impact investment—affirmative investment strategies aimed at growing social and environmental as well as financial capital—holds great potential for addressing many of these funding challenges. Until recently, much of the focus in this field has been at the national and global levels and not specifically on developing comprehensive local community strategies and infrastructure for impact investment. But that More >
Seth Roffman Building upon the unique qualities inherent in north-central New Mexico, in 2012 the Impact Network Santa Fe (IN Santa Fe) initiative was launched by the interdisciplinary design team of Regenesis, the Story of Place Institute, Santa Fe Innovation Park and a pair of local funders. Their intent was to foster the emergence of an impact investing ecosystem for growing diversified “community wealth” in the region. The project’s directors, David Breecker and Nicholas Mang, define community wealth through the “five capitals” lens, in which five forms of capital (financial, human, social, built and ecological) are grown simultaneously from each investment, More >
Excerpts from a thought-provoking roundtable discussion: Creative Approaches for Economies, Ecology and Life
Presented by Axle Contemporary at the Santa Fe Art Institute, Aug. 27, 2014
Moderated by Mary Charlotte Domandi of KSFR’s Santa Fe Radio Café
Craig Conley teaches environmental science, resource economics, soils and hydrology at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM.
Margaret Kuhlen is with the Santa Fe Time Bank (“Matching Unmet Needs with Untapped Resources”).
Carmen J. López is with We Are People Here, which is working to start public banks in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Her career has been focused around building community and fostering democracy.
Wayne Muller, author of A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough, started Bread for the Journey 27 years More >
A new study by UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economy Research (BBER) found that arts and culture, including humanities education and cultural tourism, support nearly 77,000 jobs in New Mexico, 9.8 percent of the total workforce, more than manufacturing and construction combined. The state’s museums, art galleries, libraries, performance spaces, festivals and farmers’ markets have a combined economic impact of about $5.6 billion. The report also found that the arts-and-culture industries have provided a lifeline for rural communities.
A thriving arts-and-culture sector attracts people and business investment. Jeffrey Mitchell, director of BBER and co-author of the study, in a speech last More >
National Award-Winning Treasure Hidden in Northern New Mexico Announces Launch of Tax Credit Donation Program
North of Santa Fe, there are many wonders and marvels. Some are well known in tourism and even on the national stage: Taos and Bandolier National Monument to name a few. Others are just as monumental, important and historic in their contribution to culture and identity—but little known.
Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, with its historic plaza, is one such example. What is challenging to consider for most Americans is that this pueblo—along with several northern New Mexico Pueblo communities—is one of the longest continually inhabited communities More >
In her award-winning book, Sustainable Cultural Tourism, Small Scale Solutions, author Susan M. Guyette, Ph.D., of Santa Fe, casts a new light on the tourist industry. She assigns a constellation of interesting, helpful and well-conceived cultural, social and economic terms and definitions that call for a more sensitive, responsible and enriching experience for both the tourist and the host community. Best of all, the book’s content is useful, clearly written and within the grasp of a professional or layperson.
In a region such as northern New Mexico, where tourism is one of the leading industries and a central part of More >
When we began pulling together the pieces for We Are People Here! in 2011, we were motivated by the evidence of growing inequality and increasing powerlessness of the American middle class, poor, elderly, students and African-Americans and Latinos. Nearly everyone in our society was feeling the negative effects that extreme concentrations of wealth have on our political system. There was no escaping that democracy was being intentionally dismantled by the persistent, systematic efforts of a few, extremely wealthy individuals who were—and are—gaining control of the courts, Congress and media.
Perhaps most fundamentally for the years since the Goldwater campaign More >
Earl James and Susan Waterman
When a community builds itself around the intrinsic value of the people living together in the community, it’s a likely bet that the place will be buzzing with enthusiasm and a sense of well-being. When we acknowledge that everyone has something of value to contribute, each person becomes an asset. As we learn to share in the community network of friendship, support, strength and trust, neighborhoods grow from strong roots, and networks will expand. The Santa Fe Time Bank (SFTB) has been a quiet and effective facilitator of such vital community relationships since 2009.
How does More >
New Mexico Leverages $8.6 Million to Help Small Businesses
On Dec. 23, 2014, New Mexico Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela announced that New Mexico’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) has disbursed $8,605,922 to help small businesses grow and create jobs. New Mexico has $4,562,428 available to New Mexico companies until July 2015. “Creating new jobs and helping small business grow remains a top priority in New Mexico, because small, private business help diversify our economy,” said Barela. “These funds go a long way toward helping small-business owners secure the capital they need to move forward in building their business.”
In Albuquerque, More >
January 7, 5:30-7 pm
Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second St. NW
Network with people interested in local business, clean energy and green opportunities in our communities. Presenter: Solar company owner Patrick J. Griebel. centralNM@nmgreenchamber.com, www.greendrinks.orgJan. 10, 6 pm
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW
A comedy sketch troupe self-described as a “gaggle of Indians chock full of cynicism, splashed with a dose of indigenous satire.” Doors open at 5 pm. Tickets: $25/$20/$10. Benefits educational programs of the Native American Community Academy and the IPCC. 505.259.0059, www.indianpueblo.org
ABQ Convention Center
American Quilter’s Society debut of this event in ABQ. Over 15,000 renowned artists, More >
Jan. 1-31, 7:30 am-4 pm
Tree Seedling Sales
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, in cooperation with the NM State Forestry Division will be offering applications for low-cost seedlings. Applicants must own one acre of land or more and plant seedlings for windbreaks, reforestation, Christmas tree sales or wildlife plantings. Sponsored by the Santa Fe-Pojoaque Soil and Water Conservation District. 505.471.0410, ext. 3
Through Jan. 3, 5-8 pm; Sat., 5-9 pm
SF Botanical Garden, Museum Hill
Winter lights event. Dazzling, extravagant displays, music, beverages. $8/$5, 12 & under free. 12/3, 5-8 pm preview party. 505.471.9103, email@example.com, www.santafebotanicalgarden.org/events/glow/
Jan. 3-4, 8 am-4:45 pm
Buckman Road Recycling and Transfer More >
Jan. 10-11, 17-18, 31-Feb. 1
Spanish Language Intensives
Santa Cruz, NM
El Portal language intensive workshops with cultural component. Alejandro López: 505.410.0959
One Billion Rising Española
Worldwide justice campaign to end violence against women and other societal injustice. 2015 will be in remembrance of Victor Villalpando. Planning meeting on Jan. 7. 518.332.3156, firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans Green Jobs Academy
Northern NM College, Española, NM
Workforce training and specific degree programs to support military veterans in fully accredited academic certificate and degree programs in areas of environmental science related to renewable energy, hazardous materials response, forestry, sustainable agriculture, wildland fire science, construction trades and others. A partnership with the NM More >