BANGOR – The federal government is making disaster loans available to businesses in Maine due to the drought that began in the state in early May.

The federal Small Business Administration says the Economic Injury Disaster Loans will be available to small businesses, private nonprofit groups, small agricultural cooperatives and small businesses that engage in aquaculture.

The loans will be available in Aroostook, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington counties. The agency says the loans can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.5 percent for nonprofit groups and 3.61 percent for small businesses.

Successful applicants are able to use the loans to pay off fixed debts or handle costs such as payroll, accounts payable and other bills that couldn’t be paid because of the impact of the drought.

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