Small businesses can get $2 million disaster loans, with more time to pay them back.

Small businesses in search of money to assist them climate the pandemic can now borrow up to $2 million from the federal authorities, after the Biden administration stated on Thursday that it will carry a $500,000 cap on disaster aid loans.

Those that took smaller Economic Injury Disaster Loans will probably be in a position to apply for will increase, though the Small Business Administration stated it won’t begin approving requests for more than $500,000 till Oct. eight.

Any loans taken out this 12 months can even come with a two-year deferral on repayments, permitting struggling businesses some time to make amends for their payments, the company stated. Loans can additionally now be used to refinance present debt.

The mortgage program “offers a lifeline to millions of small businesses who are still being impacted by the pandemic,” Isabella Casillas Guzman, the company’s administrator, stated in an announcement.

So far beneath this system, the Small Business Administration has made three.eight million loans, totaling $263 billion. The quantity that small corporations and nonprofit organizations can borrow is predicated on their income and bills; they’re now eligible for loans equal to roughly two years’ of their working prices, up to the $2 million restrict.

Fearing flood of debtors would shortly deplete this system, Small Business Administration officers quietly restricted the dimensions of loans to $150,000 early within the pandemic. The cap was raised to $500,000 after President Biden took workplace.

The low-interest loans, made instantly by the federal government, can be repaid over a time period so long as 30 years, and can be used for all kinds of bills — together with, as of Thursday, paying off higher-interest debt or different federal loans. Businesses had beforehand been restricted from utilizing the cash for such refinancing.

The mortgage program has been a lifesaver for a lot of enterprise homeowners, but it surely has additionally been mired in shifting guidelines, complexity and bottlenecks. In August, the company stated it had considerably sped up processing and eradicated a backlog of loan-increase purposes that had grown to more than 600,000.

But the funding left in this system might be restricted: The $1 trillion infrastructure invoice that the Senate handed final month seeks to pull a few of it out for different functions. The House plans to take up the invoice this month.