Close your eyes and imagine a street lined with bright lights and flourishing commerce. No abandoned buildings and for miles you can see the hustle and bustle of a thriving community. Rows of occupied homes with manicured lawns and pleasing aesthetics. This outlook seems unfathomable during this current economic crisis, but Starbucks and OFN (Opportunity Finance Network) says it is not an impossibility.Together Starbucks and OFN are engaged in a mission to support thriving communities inside stores and in neighborhoods across the country. Starbucks and OFN are teaming up to help create jobs through a program called Create Jobs for USA. This program will provide loans to underserved community businesses. The Create Jobs program will be seeded with a $5 million contribution from the Starbucks Foundation.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to OFN to help fund loans to community businesses – including small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing – all across the country. OFN represents a nationwide network of 180 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) set up to provide financing to community businesses in markets where obtaining credit through traditional lending institutions is challenging or not available.
THE REASON FOR THE CAUSE
Starbucks chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said, “Small businesses are the backbone of America, employing more than half of all private sector workers – but this critical jobs engine has stalled. We’ve got to thaw the channels of credit so that community businesses can start hiring again. Create Jobs for USA empowers Americans to help other Americans create and sustain jobs, with Starbucks and OFN as a catalyst and the Indivisible wristband as a symbol of our country’s unity.”
And OFN president and CEO Mark Pinsy says, “We are thrilled to partner with Starbucks on this innovative and high impact solution to help put America back to work. ….Create jobs for USA will unlock the power of CDFIs to finance community businesses and help create new jobs and grow our economy.”
This timely, innovative cause partnership embodies an entrepreneurial spirit that could be exactly what America needs to help get the economy back on track. Starbucks is a great example of a company that understands how to execute an authentic, high-impact cause partnership.
So on your next trip to Starbucks for that Grande Soy Light Ice Vanilla Latte (I’m obviously a regular) look for your opportunity to help make a difference in America.
For more information on Starbucks’ community investments click here.