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In the wake of new revelations that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout might not spark new lending after all, U.S. Senate Chris Dodd sampled a beef empanadilla on Grand Avenue and checked in on the prospects of Latino small businesses.

Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, paid the visit Monday afternoon along the main commercial strip of New Haven’s Fair Haven neighborhood. He toured an avenue filled with immigrant-run restaurants and stores whose hopes for obtaining vital loans are tied to the federal government response to the country’s fiscal crisis, a response Dodd has been instrumental in crafting.

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