The Treasury Department will invest up to $1 billion from the federal bank bailout fund in small banks and credit unions that make loans to small businesses in some of the communities most ravaged by the economic downturn, according to a story in The New York Times.

About 210 institutions will be eligible for low-cost capital under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, created in 2008 to buy assets from troubled banks, Treasury officials said. The eligible institutions are 60 banks and thrifts with a total of $21 billion in assets and 150 credit unions with a combined $5 billion in assets.

They are among 834 certified by the Treasury as community development financial institutions, meaning that they make at least 60 percent of their small-business lending in low- and moderate-income areas. Many of the institutions are nonprofits.

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