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updated: 8/26/2011 6:42 AM

Drought disaster loans still available

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Associated Press

Federal officials say small businesses affected by drought in Illinois last year still can apply for economic injury disaster loans.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says applications must be received by Sept. 26.

Businesses don't have to be farm related to apply, but they had to have suffered financial losses as a direct result of the drought that occurred between July and November of 2010.

Farmers and ranchers aren't eligible.

Officials say small businesses in 23 Illinois counties are eligible. They include Alexander, Clay, Hamilton, Johnson, Saline and Wayne.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with a 4 percent interest rate for eligible small businesses and 3 percent for nonprofit groups.