New Mexico offers $400 million in small-business loans

New Mexico

FILE – In this Oct. 7, 2010, file photo, hot air balloons prepare to lift off as part of a mass ascension during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, N.M. There will be no hot air balloons lifting off this fall as part of an international fiesta that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators and ballooning teams from around the world to the heart of New Mexico. This would have marked the 49th year for the event, a colorful spectacle that is responsible for infusing millions of dollars into the economy. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed legislation to offer more than $400 million in low-interest loans to small businesses that have taken a financial hit during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday’s approval allows New Mexico businesses to borrow up to $75,000 each from the state’s severance tax permanent fund.

Interest from the $5 billion trust fund is traditionally used to retire debt on public construction projects.

Lujan Grisham says the loan program will use the state’s wealth to revive crucial small businesses.

Health officials on Tuesday reported an additional 221 positive cases, bringing the statewide total to 13,727 since the pandemic began.

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