State, Huntington Bank Set Flint Business Microlending Plan

LANSING — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Huntington Bank have established a program called the “Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative” for small buisnesses in Flint seeking $1,000 to $250,000 that might not be able to obtain traditional bank financing.

The initiative has a $2 million lending commitment, and marks an expansion of the program that began in the fall of 2013 to serve small businesses in Detroit and has since expanded to serve 17 counties.

“Microlending in Flint will be a catalyst for economic growth, and will be administered by Metro Community Development, which has deep and thorough knowledge of the city,” MEDC CEO Steve Arwood said.

The expansion of the Pure Michigan Micro Lending program to Flint and Genesee County is expected to launch in the next 30 to 60 days and will also have support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The program is part of a larger initiative announced Wednesday by FlintNOW and Huntington that will provide $25 million for programs to support homeowners, businesses, entrepreneurs and residents of Flint and Genesee County. Overall, the FlintNOW-Huntington initiative earmarks funds for hardship relief, mortgage assistance, small business loans, and youth education.

“As one of the largest banks in Michigan, we are committed to helping Flint emerge from this crisis with a more vibrant and sustainable economy,” said Steve Steinour, Huntington’s chairman, president and CEO.

Under the program, MEDC guarantees to cover loan losses up to 20 percent of the total fund, or $400,000, making it easier for Huntington and Metro Community Development to assist a business.

In addition to Geneseee County, the Pure Michigan Micro Lending program is available in  Allegan, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oakland, Ottawa, St. Clair, Van Buren and Wayne counties.

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