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westlake-giant-eagle-huntington-bankjpg-de03c5b51e5049b7After a successful pilot launch last year, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Huntington Bank will offer another $5 million to fund small-business micro loans over the next five years.

“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.”

The program’s availability has been increased to the following counties: Kent, Montcalm, Ottawa, Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Muskegon, Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Allegan, Newaygo, Ionia, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, St. Clair and Wayne.

The microlending program typically lends loans in the amount of $1,000 and $100,000. Some businesses that qualify are awarded much larger loans at $250,000.

“This commitment offers more people a chance to start their small business and become a part of our state’s growing economy,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.

In previous years, Huntington contributed $5 million 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 micro loans.

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.

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 micro loan.

GROW will continue to also operate its independent microlending program available in West and Southwest Michigan communities. Huntington micro loan pool funds will be lent through Opportunity Resource Fund, an established Michigan micro lender.

MEDC guarantees to cover loan losses up to 20 percent of the total fund.

“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 Snyder.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit michiganbusiness.org.

More funding available for small businesses across the state was originally published on michronicleonline.com

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