She added: “The Emergency Capital Investment Program will help these places that the financial sector hasn’t typically served well.”
Ms. Yellen has for years been an advocate for Community Development Financial Institutions, arguing that they are an important tool for fostering a more inclusive economy.
The relief programs that were rolled out in 2020, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, for small businesses, drew criticism from minority groups, who said Black- and other minority-owned businesses were at a disadvantage in applying for a limited pool of funds because many had weaker banking relationships than their white-owned counterparts. A Federal Reserve Bank of New York study last year found that Black-owned businesses suffered the sharpest rate of closures in the first part of 2020.
The Treasury Department is using funds that were approved in the $900 billion stimulus package that was passed in December and signed by former President Donald J. Trump.
Community Development Financial Institutions, which provide affordable lending options to low-income consumers and businesses, were largely neglected under Mr. Trump and his Treasury Department. President Biden and Ms. Yellen have signaled that they will be critical for improving racial equity in the United States.