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Duckworth: Shutdown hurting 8th District businesses

Small businesses like this suburban Cook County tool die shop are being particularly hard hit by government shutdown according U.S.

Small businesses like this suburban Cook County tool and die shop are being particularly hard hit by the government shutdown, according to U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates), who noted that her 8th Congressional District is the state's top area

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Updated: November 16, 2013 6:15AM

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates) said just as businesses in her 8th Congressional District were looking toward an economic recovery, the partial federal government shutdown and debt ceiling debate are threatening to deliver another blow.

And it may be hitting her district harder than any other in the state.

That’s because the 8th District — which covers portions of DuPage and suburban Cook counties, including part of the east side of Elgin — is the top area awarded Small Business Association loans in Illinois. It’s also among the top 20 areas nationwide.

“We have the largest business park in North America in Elk Grove Village and the largest concentration of tool and tie (companies) in the United States,” Duckworth said.

Duckworth’s office says businesses in her district typically receives a total of about $390,000 a day in SBA loans.

So with a hold-up in applications, that’s nearly $4 million on hold or lost in the first two weeks of the partial shutdown. Her office says that’s the most in the Illinois delegation and 19th out of 435 for the entire House.

A majority of the firms in the 8th Congressional District employ 50 to 150 people. The loans can be used to hire another worker, to buy equipment and to repair a business — some are even used to finance their payroll, Duckworth noted.

Some businesses were looking to these federal loans to help prop them up after suffering from flooding last Spring, according to the first-term Congresswoman.

“They’re more vulnerable to external forces, in the labor market, in the global economy. If you’re a 100-person firm, you’re more vulnerable to a contract being canceled,” Duckworth said. “These SBA loans are really critical for the businesses especially in the Des Plaines, Addison area because some of them are using them to recover from the floods in April and May.”

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