BLOOMINGTON – Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq: FFBC) is partnering with the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington on a new micro-lending program benefiting small business. The partnership will also include training and assistance at the Cook Center for businesses seeking funding.

The program provides loans of up to $10,000 to help businesses start, grow and expand, according to Ivy Tech. Steve Bryant, executive director for the Cook Center, says, “The Cook Center will work with prospective startups to develop business and financial plans to prepare them to apply for their microloans at First Financial Bank.”

Once business owners complete the training program, they will be able to apply for the microloans at the Cook Center. The microloan program provides a six-month, interest-only draw period and a repayment period of up to 48 months.

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton calls the program a “great opportunity for businesses in Bloomington to grow and prosper.”

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