Grants spur growth in pueblo businesses

Investments in Northern New Mexico help create jobs, boost revenue

January 29, 2018

Patricia Maestas of the Native Arts Gallery in Ohkay Owingeh.

A record nine Northern New Mexico Native American–owned and –operated businesses have received a total of more than $50,000 in the 2018 grants from the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund. The fund was created by Los Alamos National Laboratory operator Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) and the Regional Development Corporation (RDC) to help the recipients create jobs, increase their revenue base and diversify the area economy.

“These investments create jobs for pueblo-owned businesses and help strengthen the area’s economy,” said Kathy Keith, director of the Community Partnerships Office at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

To date, more than $330,000 has been invested in the regional economy through the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund. The investment comes from LANS, and the fund is managed by the Regional Development Corporation, as part of its work assisting Northern New Mexico communities and small businesses with economic development activities, furthering job creation in the region.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Cochiti Pueblo Development Corporation, Cochiti Pueblo: to purchase a water metering and billing system for a water conservation program with tiered billing that will save water and increase revenues.
  • High Water Mark, LLC, Cochiti Pueblo: to purchase hardware and software that will support the company’s growth as they work on federal contracts.
  • Jacqueline Gala Jewelry, Taos Pueblo: to purchase a ventilation exhaust to ensure safety and a buffing machine that can be used indoors, allowing year-round production.
  • Jemez Community Development Corporation, Jemez Pueblo: to help with website development and graphic design to raise awareness of the corporation.
  • Native Arts Gallery, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo: to implement an inventory control system and purchase a computer/printer to manage costs and increase revenue, with a view to hiring another employee.
  • R and M Construction, LLC, Santa Clara Pueblo: to fund development of a marketing strategy and website to improve outreach and grow the business.
  • Smoke Signals Peacepipe Production Company, Taos Pueblo: to support an upgrade to the company’s workshop, making production more efficient, and to fund website development that enables online ordering.
  • Taos Pueblo Preservation, Taos Pueblo: to purchase construction material for a shed to protect the organization’s adobe and viga/latilla inventory used for restoration efforts by homeowners and Preservation employees.
  • Tiwa Restaurant and Outdoor Oven Bakery, Taos Pueblo: to purchase kitchen equipment to help share traditional culinary arts, and to improve public spaces around the outdoor ovens.

“Native American entrepreneurs are building new companies and creating new jobs. We’re happy the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund can play a role in supporting these successes,” said Val Alonzo, executive director of the RDC.

In addition to the financial support, grant recipients will also be provided with technical assistance from the RDC and other organizations.

More information about the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund is available from Vangie Trujillo of Los Alamos’ Community Partnerships Office or Val Alonzo of the Regional Development Corporation.

About the Regional Development Corporation

The Regional Development Corporation is a non-profit economic development organization based in Española, N.M., with the mission of creating jobs and attracting additional revenue to the Northern New Mexico region.

About Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service oriented, national security science organization equally owned by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS), and the Regents of the University of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Los Alamos enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.