Economic Development Grant

Las Cruces – USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner traveled to Socorro, New Mexico today to deliver an $87,000 USDA grant award to the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) which will provide equipment to stimulate the local economy.

In making the announcement, Brunner said, "USDA Rural Development funds projects and incentives in New Mexico's rural communities as a means by which to address unemployment strengthen a community's local economy, assist businesses with the purchase of updated equipment to make them efficient and more strategically competitive and to meet other economic challenges they may face.

The Socorro County Chamber of Commerce received an $87,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant for two projects. $54,000 of the funding was used to buy laser welders and related computer equipment that is used in the jewelry making business. Raychester's Jewelry Manufacturing is now utilizing this state-of-the art equipment which also be made available to other jewelers in the community. Previously, local area jewelers have been working with 30-year old equipment and technology. This specialty equipment designed to repair and design various types of jewelry, levels the competitive playing field for these businesses.

Equipment to outfit a commercial kitchen will be purchased with the remaining $33,000 of this funding. Once completed, the kitchen will be available to small businesses to prepare various types of food products such as jams and burritos. All prepared products will be sold regionally. The commercial kitchen remodel is underway and should be completed in about six weeks.