Demand Rises for Pandemic Small Business Government Loans

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SANTA FE, NM (AP) – New Mexico state financial authorities have said demand appears to be increasing for minimum interest loans aimed at helping small businesses that have lost income or experienced major disruption during the coronavirus pandemic.

New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority CEO Marquita Russel told a panel of state lawmakers on Wednesday that about 865 companies have applied for emergency loan worth a combined $ 65 million since the program’s overhaul in March.

Reforms to the state’s small business stimulus loan program, signed by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in early March, doubled the maximum individual loan amount to $ 150,000 and expanded eligibility after businesses expressed a limited appetite for the initial program.

“This program, as a result of the changes to it, has been really successful and we’ve seen a lot of interest,” said Russel.

The federal government ended its paycheck protection program which provided forgivable loans to businesses as of April 2020. Restaurants are still awaiting federal assistance under the assistance program. $ 1.9 trillion Biden administration coronavirus.

New Mexico small business turnaround loans are repaid at half the prime interest rate that commercial banks charge their most creditworthy customers, with no interest accrued in the first year. Repayment installments are not due for the first three years.

The program was originally created during a special session of the Legislative Assembly in June 2020 as the pandemic took hold and emergency health orders shut down various non-essential businesses that could not operate remotely. .

Under the initial terms of the program, the state loaned $ 41.7 million through approximately 880 approved applications.

The current application period runs until May 31, 2022, on a first come basis. The financial authority can lend up to $ 500 million.

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