New enterprise group goals to convey recognition to ABQ’s West Aspect » Albuquerque Journal

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – A new business association is working to promote Albuquerque’s long-overlooked West Side.

“We want a higher quality of life for our residents, and we want to make sure our businesses are successful in the area,” said Melissa Sanchez, founder and chief executive officer of the Albuquerque Westside Business Association.

During a virtual event on Tuesday, Sanchez discussed the new group and answered questions from listeners.

She said the West Side is facing a myriad of challenges, from infrastructure to ease of discovery, but added that the neighborhood has been buoyed over the past few years by several large companies announcing new facilities or breaking new ground .

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“All of these big companies that are settling in New Mexico and choosing the West Side … this is really a huge boost to our economy,” said Sanchez.

The West Side of Albuquerque has long lacked the basis for jobs in other districts. Sanchez, who said she has lived on the West Side since moving to Albuquerque in the early 2000s, said many residents commute to other parts of the city, which means a lack of pedestrian traffic for local restaurants during the day. Sanchez said the problem had only got worse since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Additionally, she said the region, which the trade association defines as west of the Rio Grande and north of Central Avenue, is struggling with name recognition, as she said many burqueños associate it with Rio Rancho.

Still, the region is enjoying momentum, and a number of companies including Amazon and Ben E. Keith have moved to the West Side in recent years to expand into Albuquerque. This has resulted in more West Side employees being able to work and patronize companies in the area, Sanchez said.

“They spend their whole day on the west side of the river,” she said.

The Westside Business Association was formed last year, but Sanchez said the pandemic had slowed its development.

The organization advocates for companies in the region with district and state officials. Sanchez said she is monitoring bills, including the paid sick leave proposal, which will impact businesses in the area.

The organization also offers an online job board that businesses can use for free, as well as member recruitment through social media. Anyone interested in learning more can visit

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