Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories as of July 1 may provide twice the monetary value of technical assistance to small businesses in New Mexico.

Approved this year, New Mexico House Bill 526, also known as the Lab Small Business Tax Credit Changes, doubles the technical assistance the labs can provide through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance Program from $10,000 to $20,000 to small businesses in urban counties, and from $20,000 to $40,000 for businesses in rural counties, according to a Sandia news release.

New Mexico small businesses facing technical challenges can seek assistance from lab scientists and engineers to overcome barriers for company success.

The technical assistance program started in 2000 but had not seen a dollar value increase since 2006. The assistance provided by the labs is free to businesses but expenses incurred by the labs are reimbursed to the lab with small business tax credits, Sandia spokesman Troy Rummler said.

The labs have assisted businesses in all 33 New Mexico counties with 415 Santa Fe County businesses helped by Sandia and Los Alamos since the program’s start, according to statistics provided by Sandia. Santa Fe trails Bernalillo County but exceeds the businesses assisted in the next two counties combined (Doña Ana and Sandoval).