By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian
Huntington Bank wants to play an integral role in the economic recovery and in helping companies grow.
Huntington recently reported that it has surpassed its goal of lending $4 billion to small businesses in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan. The company awarded loans to more than 24,000 small businesses in its markets over the past three years.
“We definitely met the goal more quickly than we expected to,” said Chad Prather, Huntington’s senior vice president and commercial region manager for West Virginia. “It was a positive move.”
The company made this commitment in 2010 as the country was coming out of the recession, he said. At a time when many banks weren’t lending, Huntington wanted to set itself apart and show that it supported small businesses through all economic cycles.
Small businesses create new employment and are the backbone of the economy. When these companies grow, communities and the overall economy are impacted positively, Prather said.
In West Virginia, 800 businesses received loans from Huntington Bank. Loans also went to 15,400 businesses in Ohio, 5,200 in Michigan, 1,800 in Indiana, 1,300 in Western Pennsylvania and 400 in Kentucky.
At the end of 2012, Huntington was recognized as the No. 1 lender among Midwest states for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 7(a) loans. Not only was the bank the top lender in that territory, but in West Virginia it was No. 1 in the number of loans and No. 2 in dollar amount.