The Huntington National Bank Honored by Consumer Bankers Association for Commitment to Workforce Development

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated +0.76%

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated




Huntington receives Joe Belew Award for Lift Local Business program supporting historically underserved communities

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Huntington National Bank and its Lift Local Business program have been nationally recognized by the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) with the 2024 Joe Belew Award. The award honors CBA member banks for their efforts to address pressing social and community issues, with this year's focus recognizing impactful programs that seek to improve workforce development and educational opportunities.

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated logo (PRNewsfoto/Huntington Bancshares Incorpora)

Huntington's Lift Local Business program supports minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned small businesses throughout the business life cycle, from start-up to expansion. In addition to direct lending, the program offers business planning support, free financial education courses through Operation HOPE, and other services to help small business owners take charge of their careers and create long-term wealth for themselves and their families.

"Small businesses are the backbones of our communities and local economies. At Huntington, we recognize that some small businesses face more challenges when it comes to receiving funding," said Brant Standridge, Huntington's Consumer and Regional Banking President. "We created Lift Local Business to help address these socioeconomic barriers, and we're honored to be recognized as the 2024 Joe Belew Award winner."

Lift Local Business is a key component of Huntington's $40 billion Strategic Community Plan, which is focused on driving economic inclusion through access to capital, affordable housing and home ownership, and community lending and investment. Since Huntington launched the program in 2020, the bank has provided funding to more than 1,450 small businesses, totaling $101 million in loans.

"Huntington is proud of the number of small businesses we've supported through Lift Local Business. We're committed to investing in our small business lending program, so we can help more small businesses start, grow, and prosper, and help the communities throughout our footprint become the best they can be," said Maggie Ference, Huntington's Small Business and Small Business Administration Director.

"Small businesses play an integral role in our economy, from supporting communities to employing and serving local residents," said CBA President and CEO Lindsey Johnson. "That's why I'm so pleased that Huntington Bank received this year's Joe Belew Award for its Lift Local Business program that supports minority-, woman-, and veteran-owned small businesses."

The Joe Belew Award was established to honor former CBA President, Joe Belew, for his commitment to community development. The focus of the award changes annually, with this year's award presented to the CBA member-bank applicant with the most responsive and impactful program seeking to improve workforce development and educational opportunities. The award winner was selected by volunteers from CBA's membership.

As the 2024 Joe Belew Award winner, Huntington has selected the 1 Million Black Businesses initiative, which is powered by Operation HOPE and provides the black community a successful path to wealth creation through sustainable and profitable business ownership, as its nonprofit of choice to receive a donation from the CBA.

For more information about Huntington's Lift Local Business program, visit To learn more about the Joe Belew Award, visit

About Huntington

Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (Nasdaq: HBAN) is a $189 billion asset regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumers, small and middle–market businesses, corporations, municipalities, and other organizations with a comprehensive suite of banking, payments, wealth management, and risk management products and services. Huntington operates approximately 1,000 branches in 11 states, with certain businesses operating in extended geographies. Visit for more information.

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