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As we take the first tentative steps out of the COVID-19 pandemic, the town of Taos and Taos County deserve credit for all they've done to try to keep us safe. The town received $1,023,223 in CARES funds and the county got $525,000 to use as needed. Both received additional funds to assist local businesses. Together the town and county used much of those funds to provide for public health with expanded hospital bed space, PPE, messaging and signage, COVID testing and enforcement of public health regulations.
In November 2020, the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority began accepting applications for rental and mortgage assistance to help those in need due to the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The window to apply for assistance was only opened for 10 days. But when the MFA reopened the application process a month later, local volunteers in Taos stepped up to answer questions and offer assistance to those seeking help.
The political season has come early in Taos. We are less than one year away from an election to decide who will fill two Town of Taos Council seats and who will lead the community as the Mayor in March 2022, but more importantly, the decision will determine the direction of the community for years to come. As the pandemic slowly subsides and the economy begins to recover, we are looking to the future with new knowledge and lessons learned from 2020.
“COVID – these are strange times,” mused Taos Community Foundation Director Lisa O’Brien. “It seems apparent by now that things are not returning to where we were six months ago, so what is going to be the new normal and how will we move forward through it?”
THROUGH IT ALL one thing has remained constant: our goal to celebrate the people doing the work to make Taos and Taos County a better place.
After issuing our statement about Black Lives Matter and systemic racism in June, the leadership of Taos Community Foundation and members of its board of directors received critical feedback regarding this statement.
Taos County religious organizations received over $240,000 in federal paycheck protection plan loans. Hundreds of thousands of federal dollars went to a number of nonprofits across the state including churches and other religious organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.
These times provide continued opportunity for reflection - action and change.
As individuals, families and communities struggle to meet daily challenges of the pandemic, there are others who continue to ring the bell to alert us that there are existential issues that we ignore at our peril, and cannot take a backseat to the pandemic. They are inseparable--if we are to move forward.
The All Together New Mexico Fund will award grants specifically to help the state's smallest businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The $750,000 in funds will be divided among four New Mexico nonprofit organizations, which will award and administer grants of up to $5,000 to businesses with five or fewer employees.