ECDI, Huntington Advance Small Business Capital Access Practices

Two of the nation's top SBA lenders convene small business lending and community development leaders for conference in Columbus, August 6-8, 2024

Columbus, OH, Feb. 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, two of the top Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders in America, both headquartered in Columbus, will come together to stage the 2024 Great Lakes Lenders Conference: Lending Innovations on August 6-8 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. ECDI, the #1 SBA microloan intermediary lender, will host the event powered by Huntington National Bank, the leader, by volume, in SBA’s 7(a) category. This is the first time the long-running annual event will be held in Columbus.  

In hosting the conference, ECDI is answering the need seen by the organization’s leaders, as long-time lending practitioners, to expand the event beyond lending to be more inclusive of the support ecosystem required by under-resourced business owners to create sustainable enterprises, and to enable a broader sharing of ideas and best practices. The three-day summit will bring together top SBA experts, industry pros, business lenders, support providers, business owners, and civic funders from across the Midwest and the U.S.

In addition to best practices in SBA lending, sessions will focus on the importance of fostering more equitable prosperity for small business owners of all communities and will seek to discover new and inventive ways to bolster small business investment.

“In fast-growing regions, such as Central Ohio, where corporations like Intel, Google, and Amazon continue to speed the rate of economic growth, it is critical to find more ways to help under-resourced small businesses take part in the growth and opportunity,” said ECDI’s Founder and CEO, Inna Kinney. “This conference creates an amazing platform to start conversations about the need for collaborative, inclusive strategies throughout our industry, and we welcome to the table lenders, small business owners, civic partners, entrepreneur support organizations, and any person with an interest in the success of small businesses in our communities. We could not do this work without the partnership of Huntington, who is helping extend our mission beyond the walls of ECDI.”

“For nearly 20 years, ECDI has been a trusted partner in creating a more equitable environment for small business lending. We’re excited to come together to convene thought leaders, practitioners, and industry experts in our shared home city,” said Brant Standridge, Huntington’s Consumer and Regional Banking President. “We understand the tremendous impact small businesses have on communities and local economies. Together we hope to provide more small business owners with the tools and resources they need to start, grow and prosper.”

Guided networking and excursions are planned throughout the three-day conference to aid deeper cross-industry connections, including bus tours, where attendees will visit local businesses and hear the personal journeys of the owners.

For more information about the Lending Innovations Conference, including programming, guest speakers, and more, visit

ECDI is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to assuring underbanked entrepreneurs – regardless of where they came from, where they live, their gender, or their race – have access to funding and business incubation services they need to succeed. Based in Columbus, with offices in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Canton, Toledo, and Portsmouth, we serve small businesses in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana. As the nation’s top SBA microloan intermediary and a U.S. Treasury-designated CDFI, we have assisted more than 33,000 individuals, disbursed more than $177 million through more than 6,500 loans, with an average loan amount of $26,000, and created and retained more than 43,500 jobs since 2004. Learn more:


Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $189 billion asset regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1866, The Huntington National Bank and its affiliates provide consumers, small and middle-market businesses, corporations, municipalities, and other organizations with a comprehensive suite of banking, payments, wealth management, and risk management products and services. Huntington operates approximately 1,000 branches in 11 states, with certain businesses operating in extended geographies. Visit for more information.


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