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FARMINGTON — Officials at the Small Business Development Center at San Juan College are offering help to small business owners interested in applying for the second round of funding made available under the federal CARES Act.

According to a press release from the college, an additional $370 billion in loan money is available to small businesses that have been affected negatively by the COVID-19 shutdown. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been allocated $310 billion in the second round of funding, while the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program has received an additional $60 billion.

The money is available on a first-come, first-served basis, and Dr. Lorenzo Reyes, the dean of workforce and economic development at San Juan College, emphasized the need for local business owners to act quickly to access to loans.

"As businesses continue to navigate through this challenging time, we are here to help them review the regulations and complete the paperwork required to obtain the loans," he stated in the press release. "Because funding is limited, time is of the essence."

Under the terms of the second round of the CARES Act, agriculture-related businesses are available for PPP funding, according to the press release. The funds are available through lenders, and businesses can borrow up to $10 million at a 1 percent interest rate. The loans are deferrable for six months, and the federal Small Business Administration will forgive loans for businesses that keep all employees on their payroll for eight weeks.

The money must be used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

The release states the criteria for the EIDL program is being determined and is expected to be available soon.

Officials at the Small Business Development Center can be reached at 505-566-3528 or SBDC@sanjuancollege.edu, or by zoom conferencing. A list of approved local lenders for the PPP program can be found at sanjuancollege.edu/SBDC. The center also offers free webinars on its website.

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