Desert Town Relies on More Than Just Tourism To Grow

When it comes to the economy, Santa Fe isn't putting all their eggs in one basket.

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Downtown Shops in Santa Fe, NM
Kevin Young

When it comes to the economy, Santa Fe isn’t putting all their eggs in one basket.

For obvious reasons, tourism is big business in the City Different, as Santa Fe is called.

The community’s stunning landscape and rich cultural diversity draw roughly 1.6 million visitors each year, who drive Santa Fe’s $1 billion retail industry. As of 2005, two out of every three jobs in Santa Fe were related to either the government or tourism. Just because tourism is Santa Fe’s 800-pound economic gorilla, though, doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town.

The city is also serious about homegrown business, establishing the Santa Fe Business Incubator, one of the nation’s finest, to assist entrepreneurs with every aspect of getting on their feet. The facility covers 30,000 square feet, and businesses under that roof have access to all manner of training, support programs, flexible leases and shared equipment. Small business owners are also well attended to in Santa Fe. The local small business development center works closely with new entrepreneurs, providing one-on-one counseling, encouragement and instruction in the early stages of growth and development. The Service Corps of Retired Executives and Santa Fe Economic Development Inc. also both work with budding businesses.

Another evolving sector of Santa Fe’s economy is technology and research. Los Alamos National Laboratory is just 45 miles from the city, and more than one-third of its employees live in Santa Fe. Several spin-off companies have also relocated to the area. A few years ago, the city constructed the “Santa Fe Light Trail,” a system of system of digital microwave and fiber facilities available for the government, business and education communities. Santa Fe economic developers hope the technological infrastructure will continue to improve the city’s high-tech prowess in the future.

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Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:22