Idaho bank asks how to spend TARP money

An Idaho bank with millions in federal dollars to lend is coming to cities where it does business to ask community leaders what the bank can do to help them.

Curt Hecker, president and CEO of North Idaho-based Intermountain Community Bancorp, is planning to travel to communities next month in regions such as the Treasure and Magic valleys to hear from government, economic development and nonprofit leaders about how the bank can use its new investment from the U.S. Treasury to target the most urgent community needs.

It is not the usual strategy for a bank looking to lend money — which ordinarily might involve writing more mortgages or making additional car loans.

But then, these aren't usual times.

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