The City of Rio Rancho is accepting applications for a Business Community and Economic Recovery Task Force.

Matt Geisel

Mayor Gregg Hull created this task force to study the near- and long-term health and recovery of Rio Rancho’s economy, according to the city’s website. This task force will also make recommendations to Rio Rancho’s governing body.

“As we navigate our current reality due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is paramount that we look ahead to the reopening and then the recovery of our local Rio Rancho economy,” Hull said on the website. “As such, I am calling for the creation of a Rio Rancho Business Community and Economic Recovery Task Force to help us build a more diverse and resilient local economy for a post-COVID-19 future and beyond.”

City Economic Development and Business Relations Manager Matt Geisel said the task force will not be formally created until the May 13 governing body regular meeting.

The task force will probably meet for up to a year, he said. The meetings will be made open to the public.

“The task force will most likely look at different types and sizes of businesses; the needs of our home-occupied businesses and micro-enterprises will probably vary from those of our manufacturers,” Geisel said. “And as the ‘new normal’ takes root, new opportunities may manifest.”

The city has lots of macro data, or aggregated data that gives a large-scale view, that foretells the impact on the local level, he said.

This data includes the rate of unemployment claims, price of oil, equity markets and the demand for U.S. Small Business Administration programs and loans like the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program, he said.

What the task force will need to focus on will become clearer as the city obtains more information from gross receipt taxes, Geisel said.

“As we look to migrate from today into the nearer-term reopening of the economy to the longer-term recovery, it is important that we collect input from a diverse group of stakeholders,” he said.

Hull will serve as chairman on the task force with nine members, one seat from each city council district and two at-large seats, according to the website.

“Business owners, business leaders, entrepreneurs and community-minded Rio Rancho residents are encouraged to apply to serve on the task force,” the website said.

Those interested in serving can apply by going to rrnm.gov/94/Boards-and-Commissions and clicking on “Business Community and Economic Recovery Task Force.” Applications are being accepted till 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Based on the published agenda for meetings, non-residents and subject-matter experts will be invited to participate, according to the website.

“I, too, could envision us inviting panelists and subject-matter experts to further help advance the analysis and dialogue,” Geisel said.

For more information, contact Geisel at mgeisel@rrnm.gov or 896-8219.

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Assistant Editor at Rio Rancho Observer