January 12, 2022
The Metropolitan Redevelopment Agency (MRA) of the City of Albuquerque has announced the first two recipients of Storefront Activation Grants to help them activate street-level land in the city center. Local small businesses Electric Playhouse and Blue Door Patisserie plan to use their grants to expand downtown this year. The two companies are the first to qualify for funding under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to support the recovery and economic recovery in Albuquerque. Funding applications will continue to be accepted.
“Supporting downtown Albuquerque is critical not only to continued healthy recovery, but also to future growth. An investment in our small business is an investment in our whole city, ”said Mayor Tim Keller. “We look forward to what these downtown expansions bring as we work together to create a healthy, thriving core.”
Electric Playhouse, which offers immersive entertainment and dining experiences at its location in the west, plans to use those funds to build an administrative headquarters in the city center. The company plans to renovate 3,880 square feet of the Occidental Life Building on Third Street and Gold Avenue, including adding interactive artwork and colorful architectural lighting to the building’s unique Gothic facade and modernizing the interior offices.
“These improvements will help us bring our creative team back to the office and attract and expand our workforce,” said CEO and Co-Founder of Electric Playhouse Brandon Garrett. “As an entertainment and technology startup, COVID-19 has hit us hard and continues to affect us. This program will help us get back on our feet. “
Blue Door Patisserie, which serves French cuisine at Sawmill Market near Old Town, is taking advantage of the promotion to open another location at 900 Park Ave. To erect SW. The funds will help renovate the interior of the space, create an attractive storefront, and provide living wages and benefits to employees.
“We are delighted that we have been selected for this scholarship and can’t wait to open our second downtown store in this fantastic location,” said Blue Door Patisserie Owner Jove Hubbard. “We love what happens downtown and we can’t wait for it to flourish in the years to come.”
Grants of up to $ 35,000 will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is used up. The MRA has $ 500,000 in ARPA funding to help small businesses occupy street-level vacant lots or expand their current downtown footprint by at least 50 percent. An additional $ 5,000 in funding may be made available for applicants who demonstrate that their business attracts visitors downtown between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM for at least four days a week. Downtown is generally defined as the area between Lomas, Coal and Broadway Avenues and 11th Street.
“These grants are an important part of our set of initiatives to promote catalytic change and create opportunities for residents and businesses to develop,” said MRA manager Karen Iverson. “We encourage local businesses to apply as soon as possible for the Storefront Activation Grants, which not only support their success, but also enable them to contribute to the exciting development of the inner city.”
To be eligible for a grant, a company must have fewer than 250 employees; be located in the city center; have signed a rental agreement (or an amendment to the rental agreement) after October 1, 2021 with a term of at least two years for a suitable shop front in the city center; and meet other qualifications. Grant funds can be used for expenses that include rent and utilities; Inventory; Furniture, furnishings and equipment; Recruiting, training and / or remuneration of employees; and other business expenses.
Further details and an application can be found at cabq.gov/StorefrontGrants. Email if you have any questions [email protected] or call 505-810-7502.