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Huntington Bank exceeds commitment

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Huntington Bank announced Tuesday it has exceeded a three-year, $4 billion lending commitment to small businesses in the region.

Since making the commitment to the market in 2010, more than 24,000 small businesses across Huntington's six-state territory have obtained loans through the bank.

With small businesses creating more than 66 percent of all new jobs, Huntington officials said the lending has helped jump start the regional economy.

"Huntington was one of the first banks during the economic downtown to commit to increased small business lending," said Steve Steinour, Huntington's president and chief executive officer.

"We made the commitment after listening to business owners who needed loans to navigate the weak economy, while investing in their businesses' future growth," Steinour said.

As part of the commitment, Steinour said Huntington hired more than 150 additional business bankers. Those bankers worked with businesses and taking a second-look at loan applications to make sure nothing was missed in determining if they qualified for a loan.

Also through the program, Huntington offered what they called "turnaround lending" for small businesses.

Under the program, businesses that had a history of success, but suffered losses during the recession, could obtain a turnaround loan provided they had several quarters of profitability and reasonable projections for future growth.

"Small business is a priority for Huntington, and we remain committed to continuing to create innovative ways to help small business owners," Huntington retail and business banking director Mary Navarro said.

Among the Huntington six-state service area, Ohio businesses obtained the greatest number of business loans. Approximately 15,400 businesses in that state obtained a loan.

About 800 West Virginia small businesses have received loans since 2010.

Some local businesses received startup or expansion financing through the program.

Those included the West Virginia Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center in South Charleston, the soon-to-open Charleston Brewing Co. in downtown Charleston and Teays Dental Care in Hurricane.

In addition to the Ohio and West Virginia businesses, 5,200 small businesses in Michigan, 1,800 in Indiana, 1,300 in western Pennsylvania and 400 in Kentucky received loans from the bank since 2010.

"We believe in the Midwest as a driver of the U.S. economy and are heartened by the positive economic news in our markets," Navarro said. "We look forward to continuing to be part of the region's job creation and economic recovery."

Contact writer Jared Hunt at business@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.


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