Huntington Bank has revealed a $5 billion dollar initiative to boost homeownership, economic inclusion and support small businesses across Michigan.
As a part of a larger $20 billion dollar plan spanning seven states, Huntington Bank has promised $5 billion dollars over five years to Michigan’s residents and business owners. With a focus on minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses, the money will be used to help fund initiatives across the state targeting low to moderate income communities.
“We have decided to allocate across our seven states and Michigan is the only state we’re allocating $5 billion dollars to,” Sandy Pierce, Private Client Group and Regional Banking Director says. “The rest of the $15 billion dollars will be first come, first served across the other states.”
In conjunction with Governor Gretchen Whitmer and several community organizations in Michigan, Huntington’s community plan was unveiled September 1 with plans to announce exact initiatives over the next several weeks aimed at small businesses.
“This is great news for Michigan’s small-business owners who have faced unprecedented challenges as we have navigated the COVID-19 pandemic over the past six months,” Governor Whitmer says. “These are Michiganders who have spent their lives building their businesses and who need our help now more than ever. I am proud to work with Huntington Bank as they continue to provide support to our small-business owners and build strong communities in our state, and I’m committed to continue working on behalf of small-business owners as we fight back against COVID-19.”
As Detroiters continue to fight against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have been forced to close its doors resulting in multiple job loses across the city. As a result, the community at large has been hit with an economic downfall.
“Michigan’s rural small businesses and urban micro businesses have been especially hard hit as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on Michigan’s economy, and minority- and women-owned businesses throughout the state are seeking opportunities to stabilize and thrive,” Pierce said. “Our commitment to Michigan’s small businesses reflects the role they play in driving the state’s economy and the foundation they provide for our economic health.”
For residents of Detroit, the need for additional financial assistance extends beyond the pandemic. In addition to assisting small business owners, the initiative will also aid with homeownership. With the goal of increasing minority homeowners, the initiative is offering multiple products and programs. Whether through purchasing their first homes, or renovating, Huntington Bank is lending a hand.
“We’re extending the loan programs we have today and developing new loan products to increase minority home ownership. Community lending and investing; assisting individuals and businesses around homeownership, economic security,” Pierce explains. “We continue to work with minority contractors in the city of Detroit who are going to go out and renovate these homes in Detroit.”
In addition to promoting the growth of minority homeownership, Huntington is looking to help create economic inclusion to create wealth in the community.
“When individuals and businesses are given the opportunity to improve their business or help them get the home of their dreams, it helps them build wealth and that’s what stimulates the economy,” Pierce shares. “Everyone deserves that opportunity despite where they’re from.”
For Huntington, economic inclusion also includes the ability to access capital, food security, and workforce development. For Detroiters looking to launch a small business, or simply open a personal bank account, the implementation of the Michigan Community Plan will work alongside community organizations to create those opportunities.
“Huntington’s extraordinary and timely commitment is welcome news to struggling families and small businesses,” says Hector Hernandez, executive director of Southwest Economic Solutions. “The health and economic crises are disproportionately harming minority communities because of structural inequities in opportunity. Huntington’s community plan takes aim at these inequities by strategically investing in entrepreneurship, homeownership, job training and financial education so that families can build wealth and brighter economic futures.”
For more information on the initiative, how to get involved or apply for funding, Detroiters and residents across Michigan are urged to visit the nearest Huntington Bank branch, visit their website or call your local branch.
“Knowledge is the best way to get the word out,” Pierce says. “We have had outreach to our community partners, churches and the Small Business Association to help get the word out.”