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 make high-impact investments, collectively, towards the region’s economic development. The fund is held and managed by New Mexico Community Foundation.
The grants, totaling $95,000, were given to the following recipients:
Española Valley Fiber Arts Center will upgrade its facility so that the operation can function with greater efficiency and strengthen its assets to broaden the fiber-arts services offered. EVFAC will also develop a bulk buying program to create economies of scale that enable more cost-effective fiber-art production.
Mora County Entrepreneurial Network will work to improve income levels and access to resources and capital for entrepreneurs in Mora County by providing one-on-one coaching, networking and helping business owners access resources and services using a growing community network.
Picuris Pueblo will revive its charcoal-production business to create a viable business that will contribute to the integration of forest restoration and the profitable use and management of Picuris Pueblo forest slash and biomass resources, as well as create jobs for tribal members and expand business and income to the tribe from charcoal sales.
Río Arriba County will provide direct technical and resource support to agricultural entrepreneurs with emphasis to clients operating out of the Sostenga local commercial kitchen in order to bring in revenue for self-sustainability and to maintain the operation of the kitchen. Support will come from Northern New Mexico College students and in-kind support from Río Arriba County Economic Development Office.
Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute will promote the livelihoods of local farmers to supply an abundant, healthy supply of local food to the region’s communities by providing access to the Micro Loan Fund and the Farmers’ Professional Development Program to strengthen and increase the capacity of local farmers.
Siete del Norte will build its capacity to support agricultural entrepreneurs in northern New Mexico through an aggregating, processing, marketing and value-added distribution center for local produce at the newly developed Northern New Mexico Food Hub (NNMFH). Siete will provide technical assistance, operational support and professional services to agricultural entrepreneurs and support the programmatic and operational needs of the project.
Taos Entrepreneurial Network will offer entrepreneurial business and strategic-planning support to leaders of the Village of Questa, after the Chevron mine, which employed over 300 people, permanently closed in June. The network will also be spearheading Taos youth-entrepreneurship initiatives and business education in Taos County.
WESST will provide for its project participants online marketing expertise with targeted services, including regular access to high-speed Internet and access to product development and web marketing. Project services will be targeted to women-owned and minority-owned product-based businesses that have the commitment to incorporate marketing and technology tools into their business as a means of growing business revenues beyond the borders of New Mexico.