A new name in the Chicagoland banking community

  • Chris Sweetland

    Chris Sweetland

By Chris Sweetland
Huntington Bank
Updated 11/29/2022 1:33 PM

Huntington Bank is a relatively new name in the Chicagoland banking community.

It is one of the largest Midwest regional banks focused on driving investments and economic growth in our state. Since its formal arrival in the Chicagoland market in 2010, Huntington has grown to more than 1,300 employees, over 138 branches through 23 lines of business, five of which are headquartered in the area.


Huntington is a purpose-driven bank. It puts people first. Customers, colleagues and communities are at the very core of everything Huntington does.

The bank is also known for its focus on, and support of small businesses. For the fifth year in a row, Huntington is the largest SBA 7(a) lender, by volume, in the country and in the state of Illinois. It administered 406 loans valued at nearly $70 million in support of local small businesses -- more than any other bank in the state.

Engaged in the communities it serves, Huntington also touts efforts such as Lift Local Business, a program that invests in women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses throughout their life cycles -- from startup to expansion.

Small businesses are the backbone of the community. During periods of economic uncertainty, Huntington is here to provide support.

Huntington also serves corporations, large businesses, and government- and public-sector entities across the U.S. through its commercial banking segment, which provides full-service banking through specialty banking, asset finance, treasury management, capital markets and other teams.

Earlier this year, Huntington acquired the investment banking and advisory firm, Capstone Partners, further strengthening its ability to serve companies throughout their entire business life cycle.

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To help companies and other organizations navigate the uncertain economy, Huntington offers the following strategies.

1. Revisit cash flow models with a view of preserving cash.

Many businesses have cash flow models that help predict the impact of potential sales losses. Understanding the risks and implementing contingency and business continuity plans in place to mitigate them is critical. Decide which capital expenditures can be delayed (or leased) until the economic slowdown passes.

2. Reduce expenses.

Closely examine business costs and identify opportunities to eliminate unnecessary expenses. Shopping around for better prices from vendors and suppliers, including insurance policies like health care coverage might be a good idea.

3. Cross train employees.

Coach teams into growing their careers by learning new skills. Make sure more than one person is comfortable performing the tasks that keep your business productive.


4. Adopt a growth mindset.

Focus on diversification and leverage competitive advantages to tap into different customer bases or niches. M&A opportunities can offer synergies to diversify a business and help to bolster against economic swings now and in the future. Difficult economic times can translate into economic opportunities for stronger companies.

5. Protect your data.

Remind employees to stay vigilant with data security, confirmation routines and password protocols.

6. Take advantage of technology.

If businesses are not innovating with new technologies to streamline business operation, grow revenue and set them business apart, they may be falling behind.

7. Check your blind spots.

Ask the board of directors or advisers, bankers, attorneys, accountants and other consultants to look at plans before implementation. Ask for best practices sharing to help navigate this challenging time.

• As president of the Illinois/Wisconsin Region, Chris Sweetland leads the diverse team of financial services professionals at Huntington Bank who are committed to looking out for people and delivering on the bank's purpose to make lives better, help businesses thrive, and strengthen the communities it serves.

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