DALLAS (AP) Small businesses in 11 counties in West Texas and one in New Mexico that lost money because of drought conditions last year are now eligible for up to $2 million in disaster assistance from the federal government.

The U.S.Small Business Administration said the economic injury disaster loans are available for agriculturally dependent businesses after Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declared a disaster because of the drought in Andrews and Crane counties.

In addition to Andrews and Crane, the counties covered by the SBA program include Crockett, Ector, Gaines, Martin, Midland, Pecos, Upton, Ward and Winkler in Texas and Lea County, N.M.

Alfred E. Judd, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Disaster Field Operations Center-West, said Tuesday that the businesses have until Oct. 19 to apply for the low-interest loans.

U.S. Small Business Administration: www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.