Marty’s Meals to be honored at Capitol

Specialty pet-food maker Marty’s Meals has been named as one of the 22 companies to be honored by the New Mexico Small Business Development Network in statewide festivities Sunday and Monday.

Marty’s Meals was inspired by owner Sandra Bosben’s Rottweiler mix, Marty. The special diet she created for him with the help of a renowned pet nutritionist has exploded in popularity across the Southwest.

From its official launch in 2010, Marty’s Meals has outgrown two kitchen facilities and obtained financing to establish its own Marty’s Meals Market on Pen Road in October 2013. “Today, the shop has outperformed all projections, doubling last year’s sales. Clients are mainly New Mexico pet owners, but the market also ships to clients who reside out of state,” according to the Small Business Development Network. The company has seven employees.

Marty’s Meals will be recognized at a reception Sunday and introduced on the floor of the Legislature the following day during NMSBDC Day at the Legislature. For more information, go to www.martysmeals.com.

Venture Acceleration Fund accepting applications

New Mexican entrepreneurs are invited to submit proposals to the Venture Acceleration Fund. Applications for the 2015 calendar year are due March 20. Selected companies will receive financial awards to assist in taking their innovations to market more quickly. The median award amount has averaged $45,000.

“We are riding a wave of positive momentum from years past,” said Kurt Steinhaus, director of the Community Programs Office at LANL. “This year will be our most competitive year to date, and we are looking forward to this year’s proposals from New Mexico entrepreneurs.”

Companies located in the Northern New Mexico counties of Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Sandoval, Rio Arriba, Taos, San Miguel and Mora are given preference for funding, as are technology and manufacturing firms that can demonstrate their ability to stimulate job growth and attract additional revenue to the region.

Los Alamos National Security, the company that manages Los Alamos National Laboratory, launched the Venture Acceleration Fund in 2006. Since then, the program has assisted 49 New Mexico companies through marketing and technology development activities such as proof-of-concept, prototyping, developing market share, product launching or leveraging funding. This year, LANS, along with Los Alamos County, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Santa Fe County and the city of Santa Fe, are investing in the economic health of New Mexico via their support of growth-oriented companies through the fund.

Two information sessions will be held for interested parties to attend, ask questions and become better informed on the process:

u From 2 to 4 p.m. March 5 at the Northern NM Citizens Advisory Board, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Pojoaque.

u From 10 a.m. to noon March 11 at the Santa Fe Business Incubator, 3900 Paseo del Sol, Santa Fe.

Those companies not selected for a Venture Acceleration Fund award are often connected with other resources that can help them meet their goals.

More information about the Venture Acceleration Fund is available through Shandra Clow (clow@lanl.gov) or Grace Brill (grace@rdcnm.org). The application, terms and conditions and eligibility criteria are found at www.losalamosconnect.net/vaf.

Pew: State’s funding from federal sources at 36%



The Pew Charitable Trusts’ “Fiscal 50” interactive project on state budgets has new information posted on how much federal revenue really flows into state coffers. It has long been true that New Mexico is more dependant on federal government spending than other states, and Pew shows that the percentage peaked at 43.7 percent in fiscal year 2010, when 12 states spiked over the 40 percent threshold due to fiscal stimulus money.

The most recent fiscal year shows the percent of state general fund revenue from federal sources has dropped to 36.6 percent, with the national average at 30 percent.

“Data going back to 1961 show that the federal government historically has provided about one-quarter to one-third of states’ general revenue, which includes tax collections and other funds such as public university tuition, tolls, and lottery income,” according to Pew. “States use federal funds for a range of programs, particularly health care, education and training.”

Federal dollars accounted for 30 percent to 39.9 percent in 28 states, with Louisiana and Mississippi the only states over 40 percent, according to Pew.

Website: New Mexico doing well on ‘Obamacare’ enrollments

According to one officially unofficial website, New Mexico is doing fairly well with Affordable Care Act enrollments.

Believe it or not, there is no official national tally of sign-ups under all the ACA programs, which include not just private insurance purchases with the healthcare.gov exchange but also the expansion of the Medicaid program, which is a federal insurance program for children, the disabled and low-income working adults just above the poverty level.

So a Web designer in Michigan took on the task, first as a hobby but now as a personal calling. And his work is now being cited in the national media as the best source for data on “Obamacare.”

So what do Charles Gaba’s charts at http://acasignups.net/ say about New Mexico?

He says the 51,857 individuals who enrolled for insurance by the 2015 deadline with Internet portals bewellnm.com or healthcare.gov exceeded the estimates set by the federal Department of Health and Human Services but fell 4 percent short of what his data had expected, 54,000.

Using various reports and data tools, Gaba also says there are an estimated 156,000 eligible people in New Mexico who need insurance and would qualify for a federal subsidy under the ACA. By that measure, New Mexico has reached just 33 percent of them.

The national average for reaching out to this potential group is 40 percent.

Keep in mind, if you are an upper- or middle-class worker who chooses to go without insurance, you are not part of this group. The ACA estimates only count those who would be eligible for a federal subsidy to assist with monthly insurance premiums.

Gaba also attempts to answer the question that many have wondered about New Mexico’s Medicaid expansion, now called Centennial Care: How many of those enrolled previously had insurance and how many had been totally without coverage before the ACA became law?

According to his data, 123,362 state residents are insured in the new ACA category of low-income working adult, and 11,245 of those previously had insurance through another source. So the “newly insured” comes to just more than 112,000. In a state with just 2 million residents, that is not a small number.

The New Mexican

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