- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2016

WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) - The federal Small Business Administration is making loans available in drought-stricken Oconee County in northwestern South Carolina.

The agency says in a new release that economic disaster loans are available to small businesses, agricultural cooperatives, nonprofits and businesses engaged in aquaculture. The agency does not provide loans directly to farmers.

The loans are available for up to $2 million at interest rates of 2.6 percent or 4 percent.

Rainfall in the northwestern corner of the state has been about a third of normal in recent weeks.

The U.S. Drought Monitor classifies Abbeville, Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties as being in a severe to extreme drought.

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