Ohio based Huntington Bank plans on establishing a larger footprint in Michigan. It has 197 branches throughout the state including two here in Battle Creek. They’re located inside Meijer stores. The bank is announcing a 5-year, $5 billion dollar lending program designed primarily to assist small businesses. Especially those that are minority, women, and veteran-owned. The lending program could impact millions in the state. It ranges from providing capital for businesses, home loans, and community-based efforts relating to housing, workforce development, and even food security. Huntington says the $5 billion dollar Michigan effort is included in it’s newly announced $20 billion dollar lending plan throughout its 7 state service area including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. A bank Vice President says at a time when this region, along with the rest of the nation, is facing the public health issues from COVID-19 and related economic and business shortfalls and job losses, the plan falls in line with its approach to look out for people.

The announcement was made during the media briefing called by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Many were expecting her to announce allowing fitness centers and theaters to reopening in the southern Lower peninsula. Didn’t happen. But the Governor did say something will be happening soon.