WASHINGTON -- in an effort to encourage banks to lend more to minorities and minority-owned businesses, the District of Columbia will deposit $16 million in small local banks, the city's mayor has announced.

"It is our hope that this program will encourage the participating financial institutions to make money available to more district residents and small businesses," said Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly, who unveiled the program at a May 14 luncheon for the National Association of Women Business Owners.

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