Buy a cup of coffee, help create a job. It may be a simplified formula, but that’s the gist of Starbuck’s new Create Jobs for USA program, which launches Tuesday.
The program was unveiled last month in an effort to help spur hiring among small businesses. Their idea is if local businesses have capital, they will hire.
Through the program, donations from customers, employees and other concerned citizens will be collected at Starbucks and given to the Opportunity Finance Network, which consists of 180 community development financial institutions (CDFI), who in turn lend to small businesses.
A CDFI is certified by the Treasury Department to give low-interest government loans, grants and tax credits to organizations that specialize in economically developing, low-income and underserved markets. For every $5 donated, the CDFI should be able to lend out $35, the organization believes.
“Our commitment to being good neighbors has never been more important as our country weathers this challenging time," Starbucks says in a statement posted on its website. “The United States is experiencing a jobs crisis. We’re faced with 9.1 percent unemployment — which increases to 11.3 percent in the Hispanic community and nearly doubles in the African-American community, 16.7 percent. Many are starting to lose hope in the American dream.”
Starbucks is accepting donations online at www.CreateJobsforUSA.org and at almost 6,800 locations across the country.
If you donate at least $5 you will receive a red, white and blue wristband with the words “indivisible” printed on it.
Last month the company also announced a program through which it will share profits from partner stores in Harlem and Los Angeles to help fund the local community organizations, Abyssinian Development Corporation in Harlem and the Los Angeles Urban League in Crenshaw.
They hope that the company’s community business model will serve as a model for other companies to replicate and implement.
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(Photo: YURIKO NAKAO/Reuters /Landov)