Business Briefs, Dec. 26-31: New Netflix movie to be filmed in New Mexico

Compiled by Doug Cantwell
Posted 12/26/19

A new Netflix movie starring Idris Elba and co-produced by music superstar Jay-Z will be filmed in New Mexico in 2020.

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Business Briefs, Dec. 26-31: New Netflix movie to be filmed in New Mexico


Economic Development Department rolls out business startup grants

New Mexico's Economic Development Department has launched a new small grants program to encourage science and technology startups in the state. Business Startup Grants can be used by potentially high-growth, for-profit companies in the science and technology sectors that have fewer than 50 employees.

Applicants must demonstrate the potential to create jobs or generate additional private investment; be headquartered in New Mexico; and provide a letter of good standing or certificate of compliance with the state Taxation and Revenue Department, according to a statement from the department.

The Office of Science and Technology will allocate up to 10 grants of $10,000 each, and funds must be used by June 30 of next year. Awards will be dispersed immediately upon execution of a contract and state vendor approval. Awarded companies must agree to seek out additional funding and provide six-month and 12-month status reports after receiving a grant.

To be eligible, companies must operate in one of the following sectors: aerospace, biosciences, cybersecurity, intelligent manufacturing or sustainable/green energy.

The following criteria will be used to determine if an applicant qualifies as high-growth: unique product or service; clear and compelling business proposition; scalable product and business model; capable team; potential to create jobs in New Mexico; economic benefit to the state.

The Business Startup Grant application is available at You must submit your application by January 23, 2020. For details, contact Myrriah Tomar, director of the Science and Technology Office, at (505) 827-0222 or

New Mexico lawmakers support tax credit for fire suppression

An interim committee of the New Mexico Legislature has voted to support an initiative of the Economic Development Department that would make it easier to redevelop old and abandoned buildings in rural downtowns.

The Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee voted 9 to 4 on Dec. 18 to endorse the Main Street Fire Suppression Tax Credit, a rebate that can be claimed after property owners install fire suppression equipment in older buildings.

Many of the older buildings in rural MainStreet downtown districts, of which Taos is one, are passed over for redevelopment because of the cost of bringing old construction up to code. This is especially true for fire-suppression equipment, which can cost between $70,000 and $160,000 for a typical building.

That often leaves many buildings empty or with vacant upper stories, especially in low-income communities where rental income can't recoup the investment.

"Rural communities face more challenges in developing downtown areas and creating jobs," Economic Development Department Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes said in a statement. "We are pleased the interim committee has endorsed this initiative as well as our focus on rural New Mexico."

The new tax credit would apply for up to 50 percent of the cost of fire-suppression equipment and installation. The credit would be capped at $50,000 per building and only made available to rural MainStreet communities, which are already a catalyst for redevelopment.

The EDD is asking for a one-time appropriation of $1 million from the 2020 Legislature into a special fund, and credits would be dispersed from that account. The initiative would have to be reevaluated by lawmakers when the fund is depleted.

New Netflix movie to be filmed in New Mexico

A new Netflix movie starring Idris Elba and co-produced by music superstar Jay-Z will be filmed in New Mexico in 2020.

'The Harder They Fall,' a western set in late 19th-century Oklahoma, tells the revenge story of Nat Love, played by Jonathan Majors, whose parents were murdered when he was a child. Love reunites with a gang of outlaws to exact vengeance after learning that the killer (Elba) has been released from prison.

The film's location was first reported by Backstage, an entertainment industry magazine. Bruce Krasnow, spokesman for the New Mexico Film Office, said he could not independently confirm that the movie will be filmed in New Mexico because the office has not had any updates from Netflix about 2020 productions.

In real life, Love, who was born to enslaved parents in 1854 and died in 1921, became a cowboy legend after winning a shooting contest in Deadwood City, earning him the nickname "Deadwood Dick," according to the Kansas Historical Society.

Jeymes Samuel and Jay-Z, who previously worked together to produce the soundtrack for 'The Great Gatsby' (2013), are planning to begin filming in March 2020. Krasnow said the State Film Office does not yet know where in New Mexico the film will be shot.

Elba previously co-starred with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in a 'Fast and Furious' spinoff movie and had a role in 'Cats.' Elba also played roles in 'StarTrek Beyond,' 'Thor,' 'Ragnarok; and 'Avengers: Infinity War.' He also played the title character in the BBC detective series 'Luther.'

Samuel also directed a short documentary on Jay-Z and wrote and directed the 2013 western, 'They Die by Dawn.'


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