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Fifth Third Bank (Eastern Michigan) presented a check for $50,000
Being a good commercial bank is linked to our ability to foster and nurture solid, thriving communities. Businesses that have a strong financial partner working for them can more effectively manage their day-to-day operations, manage risk and invest for the future. Thriving businesses can hire more people, increase production of goods and services, and give back to the community. Fifth Third’s goal is to be a value-added partner to all the businesses we work with.

The Bank provides customized financial solutions to businesses, government and professional customers. Our clients range in size from small businesses to some of the world’s largest companies. We offer traditional lending and depository products, as well as a wide-range of international and global cash management, foreign exchange and international trade finance, derivatives and capital markets services, asset-based lending, real estate finance, public finance, commercial leasing and syndicated finance.

Small Businesses

Fifth Third Bank is committed to providing a full-range of financial services to small businesses, including lending to help them expand, improve working capital or enter new markets. We are a Small Business Administration (SBA) Preferred Lender. In 2013, our use of the SBA 7a program—general business loans—was up 93 percent year-over-year.

We also participated effectively in the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in the states of Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio. This program, administered by the U.S. Treasury, allocates dollars to state economic development departments to create need-based loan guarantee programs designed to aid companies in job creation. In our first year in the program, over $25 million was lent to businesses unable to borrow through conventional means.

In May, we began participation in a Veterans Pledge Initiative with the SBA. The initiative was designed to increase lending to veteran-owned businesses by five percent each year for five years. Our results were extremely encouraging: year-over-year SBA lending volume to veterans increased by 283 percent. Also, of the total loans made within Region 5 (Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin), Fifth Third led with 68 percent of the loan total.

In 2013, we wanted to showcase the industriousness of our small business clients and asked our clients to share their stories. We then published them on a special website,, and asked consumers to vote for their favorite. The winning businesses were awarded cash prizes to further augment their business operations and were featured on the website.

The Bank lent more than $39 billion to businesses of all sizes to foster their growth and enable their hiring plans in 2013.

Featuring Curious Customers

Fifth Third’s “Curious Customer” campaign enabled our small business customers to tell us their unique and inspiring stories and to demonstrate the services they provide. Small businesses in 10 markets were asked to share their stories for publication on and site visitors voted for their favorite between June 10 and Sep. 30, 2013. The first place winner of
$10,000 was FJM Inc., a uniform manufacturer from Dayton, Ohio. Sun Glo Plating, a metal plating company located in Clearwater, Fla., took second and $5,000, with Nyhart Co., an actuary and employee benefits consulting firm from Indianapolis, Ind., taking the $2,500 third-place prize.
FJM Owner Marlene Miller shared her story: “My late husband, Fred, was a band director and we started out of our basement. We finally decided that wasn’t going to do anymore and we rented out some space before constructing our own building in 2005. When we started, an order of 20 uniforms was large. Now we can handle orders of 200 and 300 customized uniforms.”
Along the way, the company moved into unfamiliar territory. “What really turned our business around was when we started making flags for the friends of the bands and for color guards. And then we took care of the folks who carry flags and rifles, and the baton twirlers and the dancers.” As band routines evolved, so did FJM. “The whole industry was changing. They were asking kids to do a lot more than before. They danced. They ran. So we developed a washable uniform. And it was made so they could move in it and not distort the whole uniform.”
The family business continues to grow and change. Said Miller, “I have twin boys and a daughter and everybody works here. In fact, we just took on a grandchild as well. We go to tradeshows. Our designer is usually there and he’ll help potential customers put their ideas together.”
Fifth Third has also been part of their success. “You’re not quite sure of all the ramifications that could come up as you move along,” Miller said. “So you want someone’s who’s interested in what you’re doing and what’s happening. We wanted a personal relationship and Fifth Third Bank gave it to us. They have a real hands-on approach.”
Above: Fifth Third Bank (Tampa Bay) President and CEO Brian Lamb congratulates Sun Glo President Andrew Pozin for his company’s win in the Bank’s Curious Customer campaign featuring innovative small businesses.
Fifth Third Bank (Tampa Bay) President and CEO Brian Lamb

Financial Empowerment for Businesses

Our Company’s commitment to fostering small business development was strengthened in 2013 with the launch of a new financial empowerment resource. The SmallBizU eLearning University is a free online education program for small businesses. It was launched as a pilot program during last year’s National Small Business Week with the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC).

SmallBizU teaches entrepreneurs and business owners about the three “Ms” of businesses: money, marketing and management. Delivered online, each course includes animated slides with voiceover narration, worksheets and toolsets. It consists of 20 core classes and includes an additional entrepreneurial master class curriculum.

SmallBizU courses on money include Creating a Loan Package, Finding and Attracting Investors and Accounting 101. Management courses include Crafting a Business Plan, Choosing a Legal Structure and Buying a Business. Marketing courses include Positioning, Pricing and Strategy Tactics and Understanding Intellectual Property.

The master level consists of two training programs called Pitch Then Plan and Money Training Academy. Pitch Then Plan helps translate business ideas into business plans. Money Training Academy is a certificate program that teaches the basics of money—where to find it, how to get it and how to manage it. The certificate, once earned, is favorably viewed by banks and investors.

SmallBizU is an online academy created by Enterprise Columbus in 2002. Since the inception of the program, thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners from across the country have utilized the program. Fifth Third Bank underwrote the cost of the program for exclusive use in Indiana in 2013 and will make it available throughout the entire Fifth Third Bank footprint in the coming months.

For our business clients, we also offer EmpowerU, a financial empowerment program delivered directly to our clients as an offering for their employees. EmpowerU classes are 30 minutes long and cover topics like credit score management, identity theft protection, estate planning, insurance, college savings and purchasing or refinancing a home.


Fighting Cancer One Swipe at a Time

Statistics show that up to 50 percent of men and 33 percent of women will be directly affected by cancer in our lifetime. National non-profit Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) takes a unique—some may even say curious—approach to cancer research by supporting scientific collaboration to accelerate innovation and bring new therapies to patients quickly. This approach is consistent with Fifth Third Bank’s stated Purpose—to listen to customers and inspire them with

smart financial solutions that continually improve their lives and the well-being of our communities.
Fifth Third began working with Stand Up to Cancer in 2013 when we introduced our SU2C debit and credit cards. Having a SU2C card means that every qualifying purchase helps us support Stand Up to Cancer. Last year, we committed to donating $400,000 through our SU2C cards, a commitment we fulfilled. Fifth Third Bank is the exclusive
issuer of SU2C cards.

Fighting Cancer One Swipe at a Time

Supportive Services

We offer additional value-added programming designed to help businesses of all sizes navigate the changing economic environment. Our local affiliate banks offer economic and investment outlooks, in which our investment professionals offer their insights on the economy. We also offer seminars and workshops to discuss a variety of topics, including cash management, benefits and investments. Through our Enterprise Investment Fund and other funding sources, we support programs that assist start-ups and small businesses with educational and technical assistance.