WASHINGTON — More than $21 million in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster assistance loans have been approved for small businesses in Illinois that were affected by the severe storms and flooding that occurred there from Sept. 13-Oct. 5, 2008.“Currently, 753 disaster loans have been approved in the amount of $21,402,600 for affected victims,” says Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East. “We are pleased to be able to get these loans approved so the residents and businesses of Illinois can start rebuilding and begin resuming their normal lives.”Small businesses still have time to submit applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), which are designed to help small businesses address working capital needs. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage. The filing deadline is July 3, 2009.“We encourage business owners, especially those that were denied disaster loans and need help with their business, to utilize the services of our business counselors,” says Mark A. Petrilli, State Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “Our offices are spread throughout Illinois and our services are free.”To find the SBDC nearest you, visit www.ilsbdc.biz. For an SBA disaster loan application or program information, call 800-659-2955 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.