Huntington promises $5B to help MI businesses, communities

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Huntington Bank says it will devote $5 billion in the next five years to help small businesses and encourage economic opportunity in Michigan.

It’s part of Ohio-based Huntington’s Community Plan, which will commit some $20 billion to such programs around the Midwest.

While specifics will be made clearer in coming months, the bank did list the three basic prongs of its plan to support small businesses, consumers and communities: It will increase access to capital, with a focus on minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses. The bank is going to offer more business planning and education programs to help those businesses succeed. It will offer more lending to encourage home ownership by low- and moderate-income buyers. It will also back community-led affordable housing, food aid, workforce development and social equity projects.

In designing the program, the bank worked with the state and community organizations, a Wednesday release from the governor’s office said.

Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of Private Banking, Insurance Agency, Vehicle Finance and Regional Banking and chair in Michigan, and Southwest Economic Solutions Executive Director Hector Hernandez joined Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a Wednesday afternoon press conference to discuss the project.

“Huntington’s purpose is to make people’s lives better, help businesses thrive and strengthen the communities that we’re strengthened to serve,” Pierce said. “We look forward to continuing our conversations with the governor and our community partners and find more ways that we can continue to work together to address the real needs of under-served consumers, under-served businesses and the communities that we all live and work in across our great state.”