Starbucks is no longer just America’s jolt of caffeine in the morning.CEO Howard Schultz announced on Monday that the chain is partnering with Opportunity Finance Networking (OFN) in a fund known as Create Jobs for USA, which provides capital grants to community businesses that don’t qualify for loans through conventional banking.
“Businesses and business leaders need to do more; we can’t wait for Washington,” Schultz told Reuters.
To kickstart the campaign, Starbucks pledged $5 million to OFN and will start collecting donations online and at 6,500 locations in the country on Nov. 1.
To be considered for the loan, businesses have to prove that they’ll provide jobs — either temporary or permanent — for the community.
“In some cases, it’s a start-up, but in many cases it’s about a business expansion,” Lina Page, executive vice president of strategic communications at OFN told Business Insider. “This may be another location for a restaurant. What we’re talking about here is job security. We won’t make the loan if the business is strained. We are interested in making sure the funds yields in regards to job creation or retention.”
For businesses who are interested in an OFN loan, visit Create Jobs for USA to look for a CDFI that serves your community.
In the past 30 years, OFN used contributions from private funds, banks, philanthropists, foundations and investors to invest in community businesses that hired anywhere between three new employees to hundreds. For Jacksonville Alliance for KIPP Schools, OFN provided funding that helped create 130 permanent jobs and 170 temporary construction roles. In another case, an organic pizza shop expanded in Pittsfield, NH with the creation of 15 to 20 jobs in the area. For Dupont Building in Bell City, LA, OFN helped the company maintain its existing 50 positions and hired nine more. On average, 98% of OFN’s loans are repaid in full.
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