Local Economic Assistance & Development Support Program (LEADS)

In fiscal year 2016 the Certified Communities Initiative (CCI) evolved into the LEADS Program.  LEADS is a funding program for economic development projects that produce sustainable outcomes.  The funding provided through LEADS is intended to create jobs through recruitment, retention/expansion and startup activities; develop the tax base; and provide incentives for business development.  LEADS applications will be evaluated based on these objectives.

Projects may be awarded $5,000 to $15,000 per year and funding is awarded through a cost reimbursement contract.  EDD will reimburse the project applicant for work performed and/or costs incurred by the applicant up to the total amount specified in the grant.  Reimbursement will be made only upon completion of the project and submittal of a project report.

Eligible applicants:

  • Are part of an economic development effort that includes both public and private participation and can demonstrate their capacity to facilitate economic growth
  • Have an up-to-date community economic development plan and a marketing plan that supports business development and job growth
  • Have passed the Local Economic Development Act, and, ideally, a Local Option Gross Receipts Tax for economic development; or have enacted other economic development financing tools in your service area

Eligible projects:

  • Achieve specific economic development objectives of job creation, expansion of tax base, and/or business development through measureable outcomes
  • Are consistent with the community’s adopted economic development plan
  • Have a clear beginning and end
  • Have an appropriate budget and timeline

Read the LEADS Policy Manual for more information

The LEADS Program is administered by the Community, Business and Rural Development Team. Team members work with communities to identify projects and prepare the LEADS application.

Solo Worker received special funding from the New Mexico Legislature for FY19. For applications using the NM SoloWorks Centers model, reimbursement will be up to $3,500 for every job created. For Solo Worker program applications using training or solopreneur models they are eligible for a maximum award of $25,000 per year. All Solo Worker applications will be awarded on a post-performance outcome basis. Download the Solo Worker Application here.