Huntington Bancshares has partnered with the owner of the NBA's Detroit Pistons to provide $25 million in financial support in Flint, Mich., in response to the city's drinking water crisis.
The Wednesday announcement makes good on the $71 billion-asset Huntington's pledge made in connection with its agreement to acquire FirstMerit in Akron, Ohio. Huntington had said it would pledge $25 million to support the Flint community; FirstMerit has nine branches in Flint and Genesee County.
Huntington, in Columbus, Ohio, will collaborate with Pistons owner Tom Gores, who founded the FlintNOW foundation. The partnership's $25 million will be provided in the form of small-business loans, microlending youth education and mortgage assistance.
Huntington's $25 million initiative will also include $2 million in financing for home renovations and repairs related to the water crisis, and $1 million in grants for small businesses affected by the crisis.
Gores, a Flint native, launched FlintNOW Foundation in January with $10 million, to provide private-sector support for short-term relief efforts during the water crisis that started in 2014.