Senators Heinrich And Luján Welcome $3.5 Million In CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants For New Mexico

U.S. SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thursday, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) announced that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $3.5 million in CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants to help the state of New Mexico prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

EDA investments announced Thursday:

  • Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC), Silver City, will receive a $2.5 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to make roof renovations and HVAC improvements. The project, to be matched with $250,000 in local funds, is expected to retain 344 jobs and generate $62 million in private investment.
  • LiftFund Inc., Las Cruces, will receive a $1 million EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to capitalize and administer a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to provide critical gap financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Doña Ana, Sierra, and Socorro counties. The project, to be matched with $250,000 in local funds, is expected to retain 74 jobs, create 61 jobs and generate $17.5 million in private investment.

“Last year, when the Gila Regional Medical Center was experiencing major financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic, I fought alongside Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small to expedite an accelerated advance Medicare payment of $6.8 million through the CARES Act that helped the hospital keeps its doors open and keep serving patients in southwest New Mexico. I’m pleased to see additional CARES Act support will allow GRMC to invest in critical HVAC improvements and keep its facilities staffed and fully operational,” Heinrich said, a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. “I’m also pleased to see LiftFund’s Las Cruces office receive CARES Act funding that strengthens opportunities for local businesses. I am confident that with this type of assistance and with all of the resources in the American Rescue Plan that President Biden signed into law last month, New Mexico’s health care providers and small business owners will have the help they need to recover and rebuild.”

“New Mexicans have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and continued investments and relief are necessary to help our communities recover and rebuild. As a member of House Leadership, I was proud to help pass the CARES Act and deliver relief to every corner of New Mexico,” Luján said. “These EDA investments will support our local businesses, create new jobs and opportunities, and bolster local economies.”

“We are incredibly grateful to receive these funds, which will enable necessary improvements to Gila Regional. Thank you, Senators Henrich and Luján for facilitating this investment in our local hospital,” GRMC Interim CEO Scott Manis said.

GRMC Governing Board Chair Alicia Edwards added, “Thank you to Priscilla Lucero, Executive Director of the Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments, for her perseverance in gaining the funding.”

“I would like to thank both Senators Heinrich and Luján for their continued support for Grant County,” Chris Ponce said, Grant County Commissioner Chair, District 1. “These funds will enable Gila Regional to continue much needed improvements, and to continue serving Grant County and surrounding counties.”

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