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MEDC, Huntington Bank announce microlending program for small businesses

Joy VanBuhler

The Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative will begin with $5 million from Huntington Bank to small local businesses in Detroit. The bank has also pledged $25 million to expand the program across the state in the next five years.

The program is a partnership between the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Huntington Bank,  the Detroit Development Fund and the Snyder administration. It will provide loans to small businesses anywhere from $500 to $50,000 dollars.

John Irwin is the president of Huntington's West Michigan region. He says the program is focused on Michigan's urban areas.

"One of the good things about this program is the stabilization of neighborhoods," he said. "Microlending can also help to create jobs."

Mike Feezey is with Huntington's East Michigan region. He says many businesses that are seeking loans through this program have less than five employees. Some are home businesses.

"Small business is a key component of employment and the opportunity for these people to shop where they live," he said.

The program is focused on lending money to businesses in Michigan's urban areas.

-Sarah Kerson, Michigan Radio Newsroom