A community group is charging that banks make three times more loans to small business in wealthy urban areas than to those in low-income, inner-city census tracts.

"Inequities in the small-business lending market represent a substantial barrier to the development and economic vitality of low-income, inner-city neighborhoods," the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now said in its study. "Clearly, lenders need to make a more proactive effort to reach out to low-income neighborhoods to ensure that credit flows to their entire service area."

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