Grand Rapids, Michigan - July 28, 2015 - Huntington Bank announced today a significant expansion of its Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to include a new five-year, $5 million Michigan small business lending commitment. The expansion brings funding through the Initiative for the first time to communities in 17 counties across West, Southwest, Central and Southeast Michigan to capitalize microloans, which are expected to create approximately 500 new small business jobs. Today's announcement is an expansion within the $25 million microlending program Huntington originally announced in 2013 in conjunction with the MEDC.
"Small business owners continue to be the backbone of economic growth in our communities," said Huntington West Michigan region President John Irwin. "We are grateful to our Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative partners for joining us to help more small businesses grow stronger and create jobs."
"Huntington is a valuable partner in increasing microlending opportunities in Michigan,'' said MEDC CEO Steve Arwood. "We want to foster and maintain emerging business owners who are helping to drive growth in the state. They are entrepreneurs with good ideas and solid plans who need a little help with financing to achieve their goals."
Huntington launched the program today as part of an eight-city West and Southwest Michigan tour to help connect emerging small businesses seeking credit to the program by engaging local community business and economic development growth representatives.
Here's how it works:
• Small business owners, start-ups, and economic development and community leaders can connect about small business growth microlending investment opportunities with Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) in West and Southwest Michigan and Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) across the service area. In Grand Rapids, they can also reach out to LINC Community Revitalization.
• GROW and MI-SBDC will help guide the businesses and partners through business development support and coaching to help business owners prepare to apply for and obtain a microloan.
• Huntington microloan pool funds will be lent through Opportunity Resource Fund, an established Michigan microlender.
• GROW will continue to also operate its independent microlending program available in West and Southwest Michigan communities
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Huntington will be facilitating additional local partnerships to drive grassroots support toward ensuring microlending access in all eligible communities, which are:
• Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo/Van Buren counties)
• Muskegon (Muskegon County)
• Lansing (Clinton/Eaton/Ingham counties)
• Allegan County (Holland and surrounding areas)
• Newaygo County
• Ionia County
• Warren (Oakland/Macomb/Livingston/St. Clair counties)
Detroit (Wayne County)
The Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative began with a pilot for Detroit small businesses launched in fall 2013 that is currently approaching $1 million in use of a separate five-year, $5 million Huntington funding commitment. That has also recently expanded to become available to Pontiac businesses.
"Huntington is delivering on the promise of Michigan's potential," said Jim Dunlap, Huntington's senior executive for the state. "We know the businesses that benefit from Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative support are more likely to keeping growing here and contributing to the Michigan economy."
Microloans are typically between $1,000-$100,000, but can be as large as $250,000 under the Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative. Huntington allocates microloan pool funds through a line of credit to nonprofit community lenders like Opportunity Resource Fund, that then make microloans to business owners who are not yet able to access traditional financing due to limited operating history, lack of traditional collateral or insufficient credit history. As their name implies, microloans are also often smaller than loans underwritten by traditional banks. Furthermore, all community partners will collaborate to help applicants prepare so they can have the best chance for success within the microlending process and resulting use of a loan.
Huntington has engaged in private-public partnership with Michigan since 2011, working with MEDC to exceed a commitment of $2 billion in lending to Michigan commercial and small businesses, and also successfully concluding a 2012 $100 million commitment to Michigan affordable housing investment and lending this year. Huntington's development of the Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative structure for MEDC in 2013 enables further bank and funding partners to leverage the program toward a potential total of $250 million in statewide microlending.
Furthermore, Huntington is growing in Michigan with the opening in the state of approximately 40 new Meijer in-store locations this year, the acquisition of Bloomfield Hills-based Macquarie Equipment Finance Inc. (now Huntington Technology Finance) in February, and the addition of 22 new Huntington branches in and around the metropolitan areas of Saginaw, Bay City, Midland, Flint and Monroe in 2014.
About Huntington Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $69 billion asset regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with a network of more than 700 branches and almost 1,500 ATMs across six Midwestern states. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumer, small business, commercial, treasury management, wealth management, brokerage, trust, and insurance services. Huntington also provides auto dealer, equipment finance, national settlement and capital market services that extend beyond its core states. Visit huntington.com for more information.
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