Ohio-based First Financial Bank (Nasdaq: FFBC) and its foundation have established a Minority Small Business Fund that will provide a total of $120,000 to two of its market areas in Indiana.
The bank says it granted $80,000 to the Local Initiatives Support Corp. for distribution to small, minority-owned businesses in the Indianapolis area.
It is also providing $40,000 to the Northwest Indiana Reinvestment Alliance for distribution in northwest Indiana.
The bank says it has earmarked the money for small minority-owned businesses because they are often undercapitalized and have a difficult time qualifying for traditional bank financing.
“Providing funding through local economic development organizations… is reflective of the creative approach we’re using to help these businesses access working capital so they can grow and benefit their home communities,” said Roddell McCullough, director of Community Development for First Financial Bank.
Funds will be distributed in the form of grants for small, minority-owned businesses with a limited number of employees. LISC and NWIRA will administer the grants and manage local distribution.
First Financial says the fund will in 2021 distribute a total of $250,000 through local economic development organizations in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.