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U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren says Illinois businesses directly affected by the drought are eligible for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are only for non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and private nonprofit organizations in Bureau, DeKalb, Kendall, Montgomery or Whiteside counties. Vermilion County also is eligible because it borders an eligible Indiana county.

Amounts up to $2 million may be loaned to pay bills left outstanding because of the disaster. The amount is based on a business's size, type of activity and financial resources.

Hultgren says the loans can't make up for lost profits, but can help a business or nonprofit maintain stable operations and save jobs. Applicants have until April 1 to apply by mail or online.

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