Veteran-Owned Businesses may be able to get some help from Starbucks.
The Seattle-based coffee chain is collaborating with the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit that works with nearly 200 community development financial institutions to provide loans to small businesses and community groups.
Starting Nov. 1, Starbucks will begin collecting donations of $5 or more from customers to stimulate U.S. job growth through its "Jobs for USA" program.
Starbucks says 100 percent of the donations will go toward loans for firms and organizations that can add jobs or stem job losses. "This is about using Starbuck's scale for good," said Howard Schultz, Starbucks Corp.'s CEO. The program is the latest effort by Schultz to address the nation's economic woes. In August, he sent more than 200,000 Starbucks employees a memo urging them to do what they can to help business thrive. Then, he asked fellow CEOs to stop contributing to political campaigns until the nation's leaders reached a long-term economic solution. After that, he hosted a national telephone forum, bought full-page ads in two major newspapers and started a website.
Starbucks is covering the operational costs to get loans out through the program, which will run indefinitely. Its charitable arm, The Starbucks Foundation, is giving $5 million to get the program started, with the hope that funds will be invested in communities within a month of a donation being made. Opportunity Finance Network works with 180 financial institutions -- banks, credit, unions, loan funds and venture capital funds -- that give loans in low-income communities that don't have easy access to credit. The organization, created 27 years ago, has invested $23.2 billion and generated nearly 300,000 jobs through 2009