Near-20% of NM restaurants out of business

Near-20% of NM restaurants gone as result of economic shutdowns

Santa Fe – The New Mexico Restaurant Association recently issued a troubling media release, detailing the near-20% closure rate of NM restaurants following Governor Lujan Grisham’s multiple statewide economic shutdowns. According to the release, from December 2019 through December 2021, New Mexico saw 1093 restaurants go out of business according to Gross Receipts Tax reporting.

“As a restaurant owner in Mosquero, I have seen firsthand the challenges restaurants across the state have dealt with over the last two years” said State Representative Jack Chatfield (R-Mosquero). “I am not surprised that nearly 20% of our restaurants closed. Unfortunately, Governor Lujan Grisham made these decisions on her own, and our Legislative body was not involved in the COVID-emergency decisions. There is much work to be done to regain the trust of New Mexico’s small business community, as many feel Governor Lujan Grisham has left them behind in favor of national chain establishments.”

New Mexico’s multiple economic shutdowns were enacted solely by Governor Lujan Grisham, despite multiple calls from bipartisan lawmakers to change the Emergency Powers Code to include the State Legislature in the decision-making process. At the height of Governor Lujan Grisham’s economic shutdowns, big box retailers were allowed to stay open to the public while New Mexico’s small businesses were forced to shut their doors.

“Small businesses in New Mexico make up the majority of our economy, that is one business fact that is unique to our state,” said State Representative Jane Powdrell-Culbert (R-Rio Rancho). “New Mexico has an entrepreneurial economy, and with the multiple shutdowns, we have seen how devasting this has been to so many of our friends’ and neighbors’ livelihoods. Unfortunately, most small businesses are dealing with rebuilding their business, while also trying to replace long-term employees that have left. This is especially true for restaurants, the impact of these businesses rebuilding their staffing will have a lasting effect on our job market.”

House Republican lawmakers are committed to ensuring that New Mexico small businesses are not further left behind. According the Small Business Administration, New Mexico small businesses employed 54% of the state’s private workforce. Additionally, small businesses make up the vast majority of the state’s economy.


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