Las Cruces is a community replete with intelligent, skilled, and ambitious entrepreneurs. We work with our hands, ingenuity, and ambition to create high-quality products, services, and goods for local, regional, and international markets.
We’re a community of engineers, scientists, mechanics, laborers, organizers, machinists, software developers, artists, cooks, bakers, fixers, doers, inventors, and much more. We have the talent and the people to grow our local small business economy, attract new investments, export new products, and grow the wealth of our families and our community.
But we must do more as a city to see that our small businesses and entrepreneurs have a fair and equal chance to succeed in business. We need a comprehensive small business economic development plan that includes incentives for locally owned small business start-ups and expansions. We must nurture the ambitions of those in our city who are willing to risk all for a chance to succeed, and provide them with an equal playing field to those who are born into wealth or those who can afford to franchise or bring in outside business investments.
As a city, we must work with our university and community college, as well as our job-training centers and nonprofit organizations to create a culture of small business success. We must do a better job of nurturing the ideas of student entrepreneurs and give our youth opportunities to pursue their dreams in this community. By strengthening our culture of entrepreneurship, we can begin to keep more of our talented workforce in Las Cruces, contributing to our economy, starting businesses here, and raising their families here.
But we can’t do it alone.
A comprehensive economic development plan for Las Cruces must include our neighbors and must reflect a healthy mix of industries and constituencies. As a border city, Las Cruces must absolutely do a better job of tapping into the border economy, including better opportunities to leverage workforce development and job-creation opportunities with our neighbors to the south, including the colonias, Santa Teresa, Sunland Park, the City of El Paso, and Ciudad Juarez.
Our economy is currently too dependent on the public sector, which leaves us vulnerable to the effects of changes in appropriations and priorities for the public and federal institutions that provide many Las Crucens with jobs. That’s why our economic development approach must be tied in with the flourishing industries that surround us, including assembly and manufacturing; healthcare, alternative and clean energy development; warehousing, transportation and logistics; arts, film and culture; the high-tech sector; and one of our most important local and regional assets, outdoor recreation, hospitality and tourism.
As your District 3 City Councilor, I’ll fight for equitable and affordable small business development opportunities and a regional economic development plan that can help us prosper and begin to shift the balance of wealth inequality in Las Cruces.
In The News
Longtime Las Cruces resident and New Mexico State University graduate Gabe Vasquez has announced his candidacy for Las Cruces City Council District 3.Vasquez has a wide range of experience working in the private and public sectors in Las Cruces and has a long history of community service and volunteerism. His professional experience includes working as […]