During the Small Business Saturday Holiday Market Nov. 25, two local veteran-owned businesses were awarded business grants amounting to $1,500.

The Veterans Business Support Coalition (VBSC) and the Rio Rancho Community Foundation (RRCF) awarded Popped Candy and Tanta Solutions and Acquisitions Incorporated with the business grants, and both businesses got to leave with some giant checks.

“It’s comforting knowing that you have some people standing behind you ready to step up and help when you feel like maybe you don’t have all the screws tightened,” said Catherine Frost, owner of Popped Candy. “Thank you so much for everyone who believes in my vision.”

The grants were awarded through the VBSC and RRCF’s joint veterans small business grant program. The program aims to provide financial assistance to veteran-owned businesses in New Mexico, help businesses grow and create jobs.

“This is very, very big for us because the big thing for us is being able to continue to contribute and be able to even hire additional training, additional people, to be able to do the things that we need to do,” said Jon Edwards, owner of Tanta Solutions and Acquisitions Incorporated. “This is definitely going to be used to expand ourselves to look into more markets and be able to help those who need more training.”

Owner of Tanta Solutions and Acquisitions Incorporated Jon Edwards poses for a picture with Rio Rancho officials. Edwards’ business was awarded $1,500 Saturday.

Popped Candy is a local candy company that offers freeze-dried candies in which 99% of moisture is removed from the product, leaving a light and puffy candy treat for customers to enjoy.

Tanta Solutions and Acquisitions Incorporated is a training and development management firm that provides training management services as a vendor for any size company and governmental entities. Their services also include training management expertise for any company.