A new effort by the New Mexico Municipal League aims to help our 105 member cities build their business sectors — and their revenues — by welcoming local entrepreneurs into a vast information and resource network when they register or reregister their business at city hall.
The League’s Board of Directors endorsed the project as part of our efforts to support and expand economic development in our state, including in the villages and small towns where 690,000 of New Mexico’s 2.1 million people live.
The project launched in March, giving cities all winter to tailor materials to their specific needs, to update their websites and to test the new system.
Building Private Business
The Center for Economic and Policy Research ranks New Mexico third among states with the highest number of public-sector employees per capita, with almost 20 percent of its residents employed by the government. These jobs elevate the quality of life in New Mexico, but we need to create more private sector jobs and become less dependent on state, federal and other government entities for employment.
More growth in the private sector would make New Mexico less vulnerable to external budgets and expand the economy through increased gross receipts taxes, which support about 70 percent of municipal spending.
Until now, our economic development agencies have emphasized attracting outside employers to the area because this activity delivers the largest and most visible results. But those employers traditionally flock to our largest cities, leaving small towns at a competitive disadvantage. Unless a small-town entrepreneur knows of the many federal and state programs that exist and can drive to the closest one to explore its services, he loses out and his community is denied employment opportunities and increased local tax revenue.
Invitation to Success
The New Mexico Municipal League believes we can help private sector growth by putting information about resources directly in the hands of the entrepreneurs and business owners who visit municipal offices to register or re-register their ventures. By encouraging business startups and encouraging businesses to join the system, communities reap tangible economic benefits.
A business owner registering with their municipality will receive a packet of business resource information that includes a greeting from the mayor, an explanation of how registration helps her, information about how to plan and launch a business and where to get help. A city website will offer more resources, including a link to Finance New Mexico, our partner in this project and a clearinghouse for free and low-cost business resources since 2007.
If the business owner renews his/her registration by mail, they will receive a flier inviting them to visit the town website or talk to municipal employees about business-building resources. Communities too small to host their own websites will direct business owners directly to the Finance New Mexico website, where they can learn where to find financing, mentoring and other assistance.
Click here to go to Finance New Mexico for more information