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Brewing company, cannabis plant, and net tilemaker state money

Silver City’s Syzygy Tile Company received 50,000 in local economic development funds to expand production and add 22 new jobs. The state also gave money to an Albuquerque Brewing Company and a cannabis-testing company. (Courtesy of NM Department of Economic Development)
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An artisanal brewing company, a cannabis testing lab and an artisan tile maker will receive half a million dollars in government funding to add jobs and expand operations.

New Mexico Governor Michael Logan Grisham announced the Local Economic Development Act funding at a statewide conference Monday in downtown Albuquerque.

Logan Gresham said the money is a valuable tool for building a strong economy as a foundation for New Mexico’s challenges.

“If you want a healthy workforce… you have to respect it and compensate it in a way that makes us have ‘continuity,’” said Logan Grisham.

The declared LEDA funds include:

■ $350,000 for Craftworks LLC in Albuquerque

■ $100,000 to Bluebonnet Labs for locations in Las Cruces and Albuquerque

■ $50,000 to Syzygy Tile in Silver City

Craftworks operates The Craftroom, Sandia Hard Cider, and Late Shift Brewing.

The company, which sells beverages to restaurants and retailers statewide, will purchase and renovate a building at 1501 12th Street in Albuquerque.

Craftworks will add 14 new employees with an average salary of $40,000. The funding will also support the company’s expansion of cider sales to Texas and equipment loan to small producers.

Bluebonnet Labs, a Dallas-based cannabis testing company, will use the money to add 17 jobs and offset construction investments at a laboratory site on Montgomery Street in Albuquerque and its planned Las Crosses facility.

John Bowman, co-owner of Bluebonnet Labs, said the company was excited to expand once New Mexico legalized recreational cannabis.

The company detects pesticides and contaminants and determines the potency of cannabis crops and products.

“States often don’t have enough labs that are big enough to handle the amount of testing that they really should be doing,” Bowman said. “Right now, New Mexico doesn’t require as much testing as other states, but it’s doing that slowly, too.”

Syzygy Tile in Silver City will add 22 new jobs with funding.

The ceramic tile company sells its products across North America. Syzygy will use state funds to expand into a new 20,000-square-foot building.

This week’s economic development conference focuses on making New Mexico competitive in a post-pandemic business environment.

New Mexico State Department of Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Alicia Keys said New Mexico is working to attract companies that care about the environment and pay good wages.

State companies continue to benefit from federal funding from legislation such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, the CHIPS Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“New Mexico is really, really, really in a great place for the next 20 years,” Keys said of the federal funds.

Keys praised the governor’s border policies, which she said boost trade with Mexico, and stressed the importance of programs such as tuition-free education.

“We now have employees and we will have employees and new Mexicans who can get into debt-free jobs,” Keyes said.

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