New business grant recipients thanked the Socorro County Commissioners at the most recent commission meeting when grant awards were announced.
Cathy Cook | El Defensor Chieftain


Eight more local businesses received grants from Socorro County, funded by the federal American Rescue Plan.

A total of 17 businesses have received the $500,000 the county commissioners set aside for business grants to help businesses move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Socorro County will receive a total of $3.6 million in American Rescue Plan funds. The county received the first set of funds, $1.6 million, earlier this year, which is what the business grant funding was allocated from. The rest of the funding should be given to the county in the spring.

The latest recipients were: The High Country Lodge received $32,325; The Capitol Bar received $36,000; Sofia’s Kitchen received $15,696; Buckhorn Tavern received $30,650; Lorraine’s Hair Salon received $4,996; the Socorro Community Kitchen received $18,950; San Antonio Crane received $36,000; Outside Agitators Coffee received $18,000.

“It’s a positive thing for us when things have been pretty bleak,” said Joanna Debrine, who owns the Capitol Bar with her husband.

All of the business owners thanked the commissioners for the funding, and many thanked county manager Michael Hawkes for his assistance.

The county distributed significantly more in business grants than other counties around the state, according to County Commissioner Manuel Anaya.

Even if businesses and nonprofits in Socorro County were not able to take advantage of the county grants, there are other opportunities for assistance. The New Mexico Finance Authority announced the final application round of the $200 million Business Recovery Grant Program. The deadline for applications is Dec. 7. The program helps small business owners and nonprofit organizations that need financial assistance following the pandemic. Funds can be used for rent, lease or mortgage payments and provide financial flexibility to rebuild workforces.

Program information is available at

Cathy Cook, Editor, El Defensor Chieftain