SENM Economic Development District uses federal grant to plan future activities

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More than $200,000 in federal economic development funding could help with planning and technical assistance in southeastern New Mexico, said the executive director of the Southeast New Mexico Economic Development District (SNMEDD).

The Roswell-based agency along with four other economic development entities across New Mexico each received $210,000 in federal funds Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds, said a press release from the New Mexico congressional delegation.

EDA investments support the development and implementation of a comprehensive economic development strategy for each entity, the press release said.

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U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury said the federal government must invest in an economy that works for all New Mexicans.

“To help New Mexico families continue to recover from the pandemic, I will continue to work hard to provide smart investments that empower New Mexico small business owners and workers,” she said. in the press release.

U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury, DN.M., speaks to reporters outside Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.

SNMEDD executive director Dora Batista said the EDA covers a three-year period for five southeastern New Mexico counties.

SNMEDD represents 21 municipalities, including Hobbs, Carlsbad, Ruidoso, Roswell, Alamogordo and the Mescalero Apache Nation, Batista said.

She said SNMEDD performs multiple functions ranging from liaison between local governments and state and federal governments to administering grants.

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“During the year, we help our communities meet their infrastructure and planning needs and help determine the best avenues of funding for their projects,” Batista said.

“Towards the end of each year, we help our communities meet their local capital expenditure needs and hold legislative hearings in each county. Municipalities, mutual households, counties (and) schools can all present their capital expenditure requests to their local legislators,” she said.

She said SNMEDD helps with other federal funding applications and administers grants if a municipality needs help.

“One of the big planning projects we have now is also being funded by the EDA. We are creating an economic recovery plan. We have worked with each county to identify the effects of COVID (-19) and the steps needed to revive our economy,” Batista said.

She said SNMEDD was working with a consulting firm and Dr. J. Michael Patrick, an associate professor in the department of agricultural economics and agricultural business at New Mexico State University at Las Cruces.

“We held focus group meetings in each county and met regularly with our economic recovery team. We worked with Purdue University to get an in-depth analysis of each county and identify the economic factors driving that county,” Batista said.

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She said an economic recovery report was due later this year.

Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on Carlsbad Current-Argus: SENM Economic Development District awarded $210,000 for commercial work

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