Donald Bustos’ job keeps him busy, always out-and-about getting to know a cross-section of Las Cruces residents. As the business concierge for the City of Las Cruces, Bustos spends his workdays answering questions and researching information on behalf of businesses. Even though it’s currently safer to work remotely, he says the pandemic hasn’t reduced the number of calls he gets during any given week.
“I’m here to help new or existing businesses navigate city processes,” Bustos said. “As the concierge, my role is to help people, to connect them to the proper resources and to get their questions answered.”
Bustos says the type of inquiries he gets runs the gamut - everything from how to obtain a permit, to questions about water or gas meters, to how to apply for a city grant for pandemic relief. Bustos said he doesn’t claim to know every rule or regulation that the city has in place, but he said his goal “is to give John Q. Citizen another avenue in getting their questions answered.”
As he looked back on a compilation of requests during 2020, Bustos said it was a busy year and, understandably, he received many inquiries related to the impact of COVID-19.
Although the questions this year may have changed, Bustos’ role as concierge has remained consistent since Bustos was first named to the role three years ago, in a move by the City to support businesses owners who need guidance and answers to a variety of questions that primarily relate to doing business with city government.
“Donald’s network and expertise makes him our go-to person for troubleshooting issues,” said the city director of Economic Development Dr. Griselda Martinez. “City processes can sometimes seem complicated, so Donald helps people navigate those steps, calm concerns they may have, and assists in matching needs with resources and questions with answers.”
Whether by email, telephone or text message, Bustos said he finds a great deal of satisfaction when he hears from the business community and steers them to the correct city department or to the specific person they need. He deals with a wide variety of issues and says what he likes about the position is that each workday is different from the next. He’s also quick to point out that the success of the concierge office is due to the many city employees he describes as “those on the front line.”
“It’s the clerks at the customer service windows, the inspectors, the permit technicians, or others who serve the public every day that don’t get enough credit,” he said. “Without them, my office can’t succeed. I may be the conduit, but there are so many city employees who are filling the needs of our community, day-in and day-out.”
As the new year gets underway, Bustos anticipates he’ll continue to assist with questions about pandemic relief and he’ll make suggestions about available resources. His plans are to continue growing his relationship with those in the construction and building industry. Bustos has become a member of the Advisory Board to the Las Cruces Homebuilders Association, which has strengthened the city’s connection to the builders that he serves.
The Business Concierge program is part of the Las Cruces Economic Development department, which is the city department primarily responsible for driving economic growth in the city. Bustos can be contacted at (575) 640-3776 or email@example.com.