Wednesday, July 29, 2015
LANSING, Mich. – A successful pilot lending program that began last year as a way to increase small business investment in Detroit is expanding to 17 counties from Southeast Michigan to the western side of the state. Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative is an innovative collaboration between Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Huntington Bank, which will make available $5 million to fund small-business microloans over the next five years.
“Michigan’s focus on building a business friendly environment is opening new opportunities for entrepreneurs and the Pure Michigan Micro Lending Initiative provides access for more people to pursue their business visions,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “This commitment offers more people a chance to start their small business and become a part of our state’s growing economy.”
Launched in fall 2013, the microlending program lends between $1,000 and $100,000 with loans as large as $250,000. Initially, Huntington made $5 million available in Detroit as part of its $25 million total lending commitment to Michigan small businesses. With its latest installment, Huntington has made available $10 million in small business microloans. MEDC guarantees to cover loan losses up to 20 percent of the total fund.
“Small business owners continue to be the backbone of economic growth in our communities,” said Huntington West Michigan region President John Irwin. “The initiative shows our shared commitment to help more small businesses grow stronger and create jobs.”
The expanded microlending program includes the following counties: Kent, Montcalm, Ottawa, Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Muskegon, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Allegan, Newaygo, Ionia, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, St. Clair and Wayne.
“Michigan relies on small business and entrepreneurial success to thrive,” said MEDC CEO Steve Arwood. “Through this initiative and our partnership with Huntington Bank, we’re able to help provide support to small businesses they would not have access to otherwise.”
Small business owners and start-ups can connect with Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) in West and Southwest Michigan and Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC) across the service area, or also reach out to LINC Community Revitalization in Grand Rapids.
Further, GROW and MI-SBDC will help guide the businesses and partners through business development support and coaching to help business owners prepare to apply for and obtain a microloan. GROW will continue to also operate its independent microlending program available in West and Southwest Michigan communities.
Huntington microloan pool funds will be lent through Opportunity Resource Fund, an established Michigan microlender.
Pure Michigan is a brand representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.
For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org. Michigan residents interested in seeking employment with any of Michigan’s growing companies should check mitalent.org, where more than 95,000 jobs are currently available in a variety of industries.