Dear M & M: Can you explain the recent changes in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and what I can spend the money on? — Jack

Dear Jack: Major changes were announced several weeks ago. Here is a recap.

Beginning Oct. 8, 2021, small businesses can borrow up to $2 million through the EIDL, designed to help employers struggling to navigate pandemic-related disruptions meet financial obligations and operating expenses.

Prepaying commercial debt and federal business debt repayments were added to the approved use of loan funds, in addition to the existing uses, including normal operating expenses and working capital, payroll and purchasing eligible equipment.

Payments are deferred for 24 months on this 30-year loan. Interest is accruing during this deferred payment timeframe. No prepayment penalties are applied on a fixed rate of 3.75% for small business and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations.

It is strongly suggested to put the money in a separate account so if you need to show how you spent it you easily can track it. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation of health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payments.

Application will be accepted until Dec. 31 or until funds run out. Don’t miss out on this opportunity. There is no cost to apply to see if you are eligible. Cochise College Small Business Development Center at Cochise College’s Downtown Center, 2600 E. Wilcox Drive in Sierra Vista, can help if you have questions or need to know what to do next to apply.

Call or email to set up an appointment if you have questions about eligibility, use of funds or applying for additional money.

Source: SBA.gov

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.