The U.S. Small Business Administration has designated Adams County an economic disaster area because of crop losses caused by this summer's drought, district SBA director Joseph Kaeppner said.

The disaster designation was approved Thursday by SBA administrator James Abdnor in Washington, D.C., Kaeppner said.The designation will allow small businesses and small agricultural cooperatives in Adams County to qualify for working capital loans of up to $500,000 to meet financial obligations.

The interest rates for loans approved under the designation are 4 percent for small businesses and 9 percent for farm cooperatives.

Kaeppner said businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are ineligible for the disaster loan assistance.