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Five billion in loans to flow through Pure Michigan Business Connect

Pure Michigan Business Connect, a public-private initiative focused on connecting Michigan firms with capital to grow, is several billion dollars richer these days.

Fifth Third Bank has agreed to make $5 billion worth of loans available to Michigan-based businesses through the Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative over the next few years. The bank has the ability to make $2.5 billion worth of loans in 2012.

"We're keeping smaller companies in business," says Nicole Whitehead, project manager for the Michigan Economic Development Corp, which is helping organize Pure Michigan Business Connect. "It will help create tax base and jobs. It will strengthen Michigan."

Pure Michigan Business Connect was formed earlier this year as a partnership between the state, mainly the MEDC, and a number of Michigan-based corporations, institutions and financial firms. The idea is to leverage their resources to help grow smaller businesses in the state by providing them sources of revenue and financing.

The initial phase of the initiative represented $3 billion in economic power. It is now $8 billion with Fifth Third Bank's contribution. Other major contributors include DTE Energy and Huntington Bank.

Source: Nicole Whitehead, project manager, Michigan Economic Development Corp.
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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