Whitmer, Huntington announce $5 billion commitment toward Michigan businesses, housing, community

Five-year plan aims to improve financial opportunities across state

Michigan (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Huntington have announced a $5 billion commitment toward Michigan businesses, affordable housing and community efforts.

The five-year lending, investment and philanthropic plan aims to help improve financial opportunities for Michigan businesses, consumers and communities. It’s part of a $20 billion community plan Huntington Bancshares announced Sept. 1.

The Michigan segment of the plan was developed in cooperation with Whitmer and Michigan community organizations to make sure it meets the needs of people and businesses throughout the state, officials said.

“In this critical time when businesses are confronting the extreme challenge of a public-health crisis, recession and issues related to social equity, Huntington’s purpose of looking out for people calls us to do more for Michigan’s small businesses, consumers and communities,” said Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of Private Banking, Insurance Agency, Vehicle Finance and Regional Banking. “We believe this commitment is a very meaningful investment in Michigan’s economic future.”

In the next several months, the bank will announce specific initiatives to support small businesses, consumers and communities. The plan will evolve as Huntington listens and takes action to meet the changing needs of Michigan’s communities, according to state officials.

“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,” Whitmer said. “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.”

“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.”

Here are some details about the company’s investments:

  • Access to capital: Huntington is investing in small businesses, with a special emphasis on those owned by minorities, women and veterans. The bank’s commitment to helping businesses will be bolstered by additional investments in business-planning and educational programs to help bring business owners the relief, recovery and growth they are seeking as the cornerstones of the American economy.
  • Affordable housing and home ownership: Huntington is expanding lending programs and educational services to support increased home ownership by minority and low- to moderate-income borrowers throughout the Midwest. The bank’s commitment will enable greater opportunities for first-time home buyers, improve housing security for financially distressed consumers, and create generational wealth building through home ownership. It is also designed to enable home rehabilitation and the refinancing of existing homes to unlock the cash-flow needs of borrowers.
  • Community lending and investment: Huntington officials said they recognize the barriers to banking that exist for some people and businesses, and the bank is investing toward Michigan’s community efforts related to affordable housing, food security, workforce development and social equity. Huntington officials believe these areas are fundamental to helping people not only find basic economic security, but also prosper. They said that by making communities stronger, it creates additional opportunities for those who live and work there.

“This is an opportunity to take a more deliberate approach toward investing in the people and businesses that will have the greatest impact in our communities,” Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said. “I’m excited to see how we can build upon this partnership with Huntington Bank to advance equity in economic growth to ensure that new doors are open to a more diverse group of entrepreneurs at every stage of their business.”

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.