The owner of the Detroit Pistons is teaming up with Huntington Bank to give $25 million to the battered businesses of Flint, Michigan.
Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and Steve Steinour, CEO of Michigan-based Huntington Bank, said the program will include $22 million in loans to small businesses, $2 million in mortgage financing and another $1 million in grants to bolster businesses damaged by the water crisis. Huntington Bank has nine branches located in Flint.
The economic development initiative is also providing education programs for children and young adults to teach them about business, entrepreneurship and money management.
“The government is responsible for fixing the water supply in Flint, but we’re all responsible for fixing the community,” Gores said in a statement. “This partnership signifies the momentum we need for the future of Flint.”
Related: Flint, Michigan: A hollow frame of a once-affluent city
Flint has long suffered from economic malaise with the slowdown in the U.S. auto industry. And then the water crisis happened. In the last two years, the city has been funneling its water supply from the noxious Flint River, creating a rash of health problems and devastating whatever was left of the housing market.
But Flint is getting help from some unlikely sources. Diana Hussein of Dearborn, Michigan traded her Twitter handle @DietDrPepper to Dr. Pepper Snapple Group in exchange for about 41,000 bottles of its Deja’ Blue water for the residents of Flint, according to the Detroit Free Press.