Huntington encourages shoppers to think local this holiday season

According to a 2021 report from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy, there are 32.5 million small businesses in the United States, representing 99% of all businesses in the country. Small businesses employ nearly 47 percent of the country’s workforce.

“Small, local businesses are essential to the fabric of our communities,” said Huntington’s SBA program director, Maggie Ference. “When small businesses are successful, so are individuals and communities. It is becoming a rising tide for everyone. “

In addition to providing essential goods and services, small businesses create essential jobs in the communities they serve and stimulate economic development. From 1995 to 2020, small businesses accounted for 62% of net new job creation in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Because the health of businesses and local communities is so closely linked, Ference said buying local remains essential. “We see local business owners continuing to work hard and innovate during this difficult time. It is such an inspiration and so important that we continue to show our support.”

In addition to shopping in person or online at favorite local establishments during the holiday season, there are other ways for consumers to support local businesses, such as sharing an experience on social media, writing reviews, and researching new local businesses.

While some of the hurdles for small businesses have changed from the holiday shopping season of 2020, it remains a critical time to think local.

“Small businesses have faced hurdles after the start of last year, and current supply chain and workforce challenges are just the latest,” Ference said. “But that shouldn’t stop buyers from supporting their local businesses. Just plan ahead and have a little patience.”

Huntington is committed to helping businesses thrive and ensuring that its programs and support reflect the needs of people and businesses in its footprint.

Huntington supports small businesses with access to capital

As the New Year approaches, many entrepreneurs will start to realize their dream of starting a small business. It can be an exciting time, but one that is also filled with its share of uncertainties and challenges. One of the biggest challenges for many of these entrepreneurs is securing the financing to start their business.

Knowing the importance of small businesses to our communities, Huntington has invested in resources and programs to help business owners turn their dreams into reality. Building on its position as the country’s No. 1 Small Business Administration (SBA) 7 (a) lender by volume, Huntington has developed creative lending options and a variety of other features that will help bring relief. , recovery and growth in small businesses.

Recognizing the barriers to banking that exist for some small businesses, Huntington is committed to supporting small businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans through its Lift Local Business program. The program provides loans, business planning support, and other services to help small business owners achieve their goals. During the program’s first year, Huntington booked $ 22 million in loans, helping more than 300 small businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans. In June, Huntington announced a five-year term, $ 100 million extension of this program.

Huntington continues to invest in its communities to support economic inclusion and to help make its clients and communities more financially secure in the future. In June, the bank announced a new strategy to tackle social, racial, environmental and economic inequalities across its footprint by committing to 40 billion dollars towards its new Community Strategic Plan. This includes the expansion of its small business loan programs into its new footprint following the merger with TCF Financial Corporation and the commitment 10 billion dollars over five years, of which $ 2 billion will focus on lending to minority-owned businesses or businesses operating in majority minority communities.

“The entrepreneurial spirit remains strong in this country, and everyone deserves a chance to be financially successful,” Ference said. “Access to capital is vital for those looking to start a new business or expand their existing business, and I am very proud of the steps Huntington has taken to provide support to underserved businesses on our footprint. “

Last year, Huntington launched its Local Support video series, a customer-inspired campaign that highlights the strength and resilience of small businesses in the Midwest. The campaign documents the real-life stories of small businesses and the conversations Huntington has had with owners who have found creative ways to run their businesses and support their communities during the pandemic.

How Small Businesses Can Protect Themselves This Holiday Season

According to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center, 58% of small businesses have experienced at least one security or data breach. Recovering from a breach can also be costly, with 60 percent of small businesses paying between $ 250,000 and $ 1 million to cover the costs.

While many small business owners plan months in advance for the holiday season, they don’t always have the same level of cybersecurity preparedness. Cybercriminals have historically used the holiday season to attack consumers and businesses.

To help prevent a cyberattack, businesses need to educate and train their employees on the latest scams, like social engineering and email phishing. Here are some tips that employers and employees should know:

  • Avoid opening links or attachments in an email unless you expect them to.
  • Do not click on links from unknown sources and delete suspicious emails. On many systems, hovering your mouse over a link (URL) without clicking it will display the full path of the link, which will help you determine if a link is legitimate.
  • When you are on the phone, always confirm who you are talking to and never provide personal information. Keep in mind that caller ID can be spoofed and never give out sensitive or personal information if you haven’t made the call.
  • Always remember that your financial institution will never contact you to ask for your personal information, such as account numbers, passwords or one-time codes.

Since many small businesses do not have access to cyber attack education, Huntington provides free resources to help prevent your business from becoming a victim.

Additionally, Huntington offers cybersecurity insurance coverage that protects against loss and can help businesses minimize breaches by taking steps such as requiring dual approval on certain currency transactions and advising on administrative changes. .

“Many companies believe that a cyber attack will not happen to them, but the threat is very real,” said Amy geiger, Chief Security Officer for Huntington. “An attack can be devastating, so it’s important to have a plan in place and make sure employees know how they can do their part to keep your business safe.”

About Huntington

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a 174 billion dollars regional asset bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1866, Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumers, small and medium-sized businesses, corporations, municipalities and other organizations with a full range of banking, payments, wealth management and other products and services. risk management. Huntington operates more than 1,100 branches in 12 states, with some businesses operating in large geographic areas. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Huntington Bancshares Inc.

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