New Mexico Businesses Can Apply for Relief from New $100 Million Fund

The relief, managed by private equity firm Sun Mountain Capital, comes from the state’s $5.3 billion severance tax permanent fund.

Businesses impacted by the coronavirus in New Mexico can start applying for short-term loans from the $100 million relief program that was created from the state’s permanent fund. 

Applications opened Monday through Sun Mountain Capital, the Santa Fe investment firm specializing in private equity, venture capital, and growth equity that was tapped by the state to manage and invest the $100 million New Mexico Recovery Fund.

Credit-worthy companies with 40 or more employees can register for loans between $500,000 and $10 million, the state said. Interest rates are between 3% and 10%. Companies must demonstrate that they plan to retain their workers and spend a majority—upwards of 80%—of their proceeds within the state.

Businesses will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire for approval on the Sun Mountain Capital website before filing a formal submission.

“The state is looking to do everything we can to help business through this crisis and save jobs,” Economic Development Department Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said in a statement. 

The New Mexico Recovery Fund and its guidelines were approved last week by the New Mexico State Investment Council, as well as by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last month, as the state started responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s coronavirus tally has been creeping upward, standing at 1,345 cases on Monday.  

The program is funded from one of the state’s several permanent funds, called the Severance Tax Permanent Fund (STPF), which was created nearly a half-century ago to invest unused resources from oil and gas in the state to issue bonds for infrastructure projects. 

Together, the state’s four permanent funds are expected to deliver roughly $1 billion to the state’s general fund this year. The STPF, valued at roughly $5.3 billion in February, would have distributed roughly $234 million this fiscal year on its own. 

The emergency business relief fund is intended to work in tandem with other state and federal relief efforts, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the $25 million relief fund in the state for small businesses. 

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