New Business Loan Program Supports Economic Development in Middletown

September 12, 2012

CINCINNATI – First Financial Bank and Downtown Middletown, Inc have partnered to offer a business loan program to spur local economic growth and development. The Micro Business Lending Program is available to small business owners in Middletown.

“At First Financial, we’re committed to investing in the communities we serve,” said Jason Newport, First Financial Bank’s retail market manager. “This program will allow us to support local small business owners and help them position their company for greater success.” 

The Micro Business Lending Program targets businesses with revenues up to $500,000 per year or with ten or fewer employees. The maximum loan amount available is $10,000 and borrowers are eligible for one loan at a time.

"This microloan program will be the tipping point for Downtown Middletown to be competitive in attracting new businesses,” said Patrick Kay, executive director of Downtown Middletown, Inc. “For a downtown to be successful, we need the assistance from the entire community and this partnership with First Financial will be a major factor in the success of our downtown."

 “The microloan program provides the City with one more tool to grow our community. The funds provided by First Financial will help cover the gap that our small business sometimes have when trying to grow their business and also improve their facility, “ said Denise Hamet, economic development program director for the City of Middletown. “As our small businesses grow, they create jobs, and there is additional economic development through increased demand for other support services.”

Business owners must apply in order to be considered for the loan program. Start-up business applicants should be prepared to provide a business plan and an explanation of how the funds will be used. Applications are available through Downtown Middletown, Inc.  For more information, business owners should call Downtown Middletown, Inc at 513-217-4573.

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About First Financial Bancorp
First Financial Bancorp is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company.  As of June 30, 2012, the Company had $6.3 billion in assets, $3.9 billion in loans, $5.1 billion in deposits and $717 million in shareholders’ equity.  The Company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, N.A., founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its three lines of business: commercial, retail and wealth management.  The commercial and retail units provide traditional banking services to business and consumer clients.  First Financial Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately $2.3 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2012.  The Company’s strategic operating markets are located in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky where it operates 122 banking centers.  Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations is available at www.bankatfirst.com.