U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) said just as businesses in her district were looking toward an economic recovery, the 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 Congressional district, which covers portions of DuPage and suburban Cook counties, is the top area awarded Small Business Association loans — and among the top 20 nationwide.
“We have the largest business park in North America in Elk Grove Village and the largest concentration of tool and die in the United States,” Duckworth said.
Duckworth’s office says businesses in her district typically receives about $390,000 a day from SBA loans.
So with a hold-up in applications, that’s nearly $4 million on hold or lost in two weeks. Her office says that’s the most in the Illinois delegation and 19th out of 435 for the entire House.
A good 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.
Some businesses were looking to these federal loans to help prop them up after suffering from flooding last Spring, she said.
“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.”