Courtesy of the Las Cruces Bulletin
The City of Las Cruces is partnering with New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry to provide a pilot program of sophisticated technical assistance to businesses that are ready to grow.
“The city officials of Las Cruces are to be commended for being visionaries. This public private partnership is an example for others to follow,” said Beverlee McClure, president and CEO of ACI.
“This is a first step in developing an Economic Gardening hub for the state and a program that has been implemented by many other states,” said Christine Logan, Las Cruces director of Economic Development and Business Assistance. “The pilot program will provide economic gardening assistance at no charge to up to 10 New Mexico businesses.”
Funding from Lovelace Health Systems and PNM has allowed ACI to contract with the Edward Lowe Foundation, National Center for Economic Gardening, for the pilot program. The cost to ACI to provide an Economic Gardening grant will be $4,500 per business.
Logan said she is hoping at least three or four of the participating business will be from Las Cruces. According to her research, at least 135 local businesses fit the criteria, which are:
• Be a for-profit, privately held company headquartered in the Las Cruces area for at least two years.
• Generate annual revenue between$500,000 and $50 million.
• Employ at least eight but no more than 99 full-time employees.
• Demonstrate growth in either revenue or employees in at least two of the past five years.
• Provide products or services beyond Doña Ana County to regional, national or global markets.
Selected businesses will interact with an experienced national economic gardening team. The team will deliver services tailored to each business’s particular situation. Technical assistance will include identifying new markets, products and sales leads; reviewing strategies related to commodity or niche markets; analyzing employee temperament to build strong management teams and recruit new hires that fit the organization’s dynamic; examining social media utilization to connect with customers; reviewing core strategies related to commodity and/or niche markets; and search engine optimization to place website in front of more customers.
Interested companies will apply online at newmexico.nationalcentereg.org. ACI will receive the applications, remove any confidential or proprietary information, and forward the general information for Doña Ana County business to the city economic development office. A local review committee, which includes a representative of each of the three local chambers of commerce will consider each applicant and make a recommendation to ACI for final selection.
ACI will notify the business of an award and the company will then be put in contact with the Edward Lowe Foundation. A project leader will work with the business to identify areas of expertise required on the research team and schedule the process. The program typically will involve an initial discussion with the project leader and a discovery discussion with the project team, during which focus areas or research issues will be identified.
Within a week, a second round of discussion will occur during which the research team will report back and work with the business to define an action plan based on the businesses individual need. The business will then work with all or some of the research team to target the information they determine will be most helpful to their company. All of the interaction is accomplished by phone or internet so that no travel is required. The approximate time from the selection of a company to completing the consultation is four weeks.
For more information, contact Christine Logan, economic developer, City of Las Cruces or Beverlee McClure, CEO of ACI, at 505-842-0644 or email@example.com.