First Financial Provides $30,000 to Dayton Chamber foundation for Minority Small Businesses

Dayton, OH – Jan. 25, 2021 – First Financial Bank (Nasdaq: FFBC) and its Foundation have established a new Minority Small Business Fund that will provide $30,000 to the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Education and Public Improvement (EPI) Foundation for distribution to small, minority-owned businesses in the area.

“First Financial Bank has prioritized its support for minority small businesses, which are often under-capitalized and have a difficult time qualifying for traditional bank financing,” said Roddell McCullough, director of Community Development for First Financial Bank. “Providing funding through local economic development organizations such as the EPI Foundation is reflective of the creative approach we’re using to help these businesses access working capital so they can grow and benefit their home communities.”

Funds will be distributed in the form of grants for small, minority-owned businesses with a limited number of employees. The EPI Foundation will administer the grants and manage local distribution.

“First Financial’s continued commitment to small and minority owned businesses in the Greater Dayton area has been tremendous,” said Chris Kershner, president of the EPI Foundation. “These small businesses are our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends. We are excited to work with First Financial on this opportunity.”

Overall, the First Financial Bank Minority Small Business Fund will distribute a total of $250,000 this year through local economic development organizations in Columbus, Ohio; Dayton; Indianapolis; Louisville; and Northwest Indiana. These organizations will in turn distribute to minority small businesses in their areas.

This newest initiative builds upon First Financial Bank’s record of lending to and supporting minority-owned businesses and businesses in emerging markets. First Financial is more than halfway toward the $1.7 billion goal in its 5-year Community Benefits Agreement from 2018, which focuses on lending and investments with minority clients and in minority census tracts. First Financial has also supported minority-owned businesses by increasing the diversity of its vendor outsourcing by more than 50 percent in the last two years.

About First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp. is a Cincinnati, Ohio based bank holding company. As of September 30, 2020, the Company had $15.9 billion in assets, $10.2 billion in loans, $11.6 billion in deposits and $2.2 billion in shareholders’ equity. The Company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its six lines of business: Commercial, Retail Banking, Investment Commercial Real Estate, Mortgage Banking, Commercial Finance and Wealth Management. These business units provide traditional banking services to business and retail clients. Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and retirement plan services and had approximately $2.8 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2020. The Company operated 143 full service banking centers as of September 30, 2020, primarily in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, while the Commercial Finance business lends into targeted industry verticals on a nationwide basis. Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations, is available at