BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is requesting federal assistance for small businesses affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.

The governor sent a letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration on Friday asking that the agency issue and Economic Injury Declaration for Boston. That would allow the SBA to issue low-interest, long-term loans to businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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Several businesses were damaged in the April 15 bombing and a stretch of Boylston Street was closed for more than a week after the blast.

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Also Friday, Patrick held a ceremony to honor state police, members of his cabinet and state government employees who helped in rescue and recovery efforts after the bombing.

He called them “heroes” and said that their efforts were appreciated.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.