Dear M & M: I never bothered to apply for the various programs like the Payroll Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Can I still apply? — Jan

Dear Jan: Yes, both have deadlines and are open now until the funds run out. Right now, there still is money available. The Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is open until May 31, 2021 to apply and an additional 30 days until June 30, 2021 for the SBA to process applications submitted before the May 31, 2021 deadline. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) have been extended until December 31, 2021 or until funding runs out as well. Remember the EIDL is a direct loan from the US Treasury.

You have to pay it back. An (EIDL) can be used to pay your normal day-to-day operating expenses like payroll, rent, utilities, insurance and money spent on personal protection equipment. The (PPP) is also a loan that may be forgiven. You have to do certain things like bringing back employees, paying a percentage of the total amount received on payroll, and submitting proper proof that you spent the money on what you said to determine forgiveness.

You can apply for both programs if you are eligible. They have deadlines for being in business by a certain date, number of employees and limits to the amounts any business is eligible for. (PPP) is processing an application through an eligible lender and (EIDL) is done by filling out an online application with the SBA. Shuttered Venue Grants and a new Restaurant Recovery Program are two more places business owners can apply for soon.

If you don’t apply the answer is no. Apply, let them tell you if you qualify. Then you can determine if you still need the funds. Understand these are loans. The (PPP) may be forgiven if you follow the rules and submit documentation to support how the money was spent on eligible expenses. The (EIDL) is a business loan that you have to pay back. From interest rates, to deferring the time before you make your first payment to the time to pay back the loan all make the (EIDL) well worth looking into.

ASK M&M is prepared and submitted by Mark Schmitt, director of the Small Business Development Center at Cochise College; and Mignonne Hollis, executive director at the Arizona Economic Development Foundation. To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Cochise College (520) 515-5478 or email schmittm@cochise.edu or contact the Arizona Regional’ Economic Development Foundation at (520) 458-6948 or email hollism@aredf.org; www.aredf.org.