Starbucks’ Jobs Fund Finds New Partners

Google Offers and Banana Republic will contribute up to $4 million to community lending fund

   

Starbucks’ Jobs Fund Finds New Partners

The company that pioneered $5 cups of coffee is moving forward with its efforts to create jobs in the U.S. Reuters reports that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), through its Google Offers business, and Gap’s (NYSE:GPS) Banana Republic will hold special sales events to raise contributions for Starbucks’ (NASDAQ:SBUX) “Create Jobs for USA” fund. The coffee shop giant launched the fund last October in association with the Opportunity Finance Network, a collection of financial services firms lending to small, community-based businesses.

“We can’t wait for Washington,” Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz was quoted by Reuters. “We need to do more on our own.” Schultz has previously urged corporate donors to withhold campaign funds from federal office holders until they work out a compromise on the country’s escalating debt and budget woes, Reuters noted. He also opened his tenure as Starbucks CEO by closing 1,000 coffee shops during the company’s fiscal crisis in 2007.

Since October, Create Jobs for America has raised $7.5 million. Google Offers and BananaRepublic will pour an expected $4 million into the fund, allowing it to leverage about $80 million in loans to be offered to small business and organizations. Starbucks expects the loans to create or support at least 3,800 jobs, Reuters noted. The java giant continues to recruit new partners for the fund.

“Create Jobs for USA gives individual Americans and like-minded businesses the ability to take an active role in helping to address our national jobs emergency,” Schultz added in a company statement.  “We’re inviting other businesses to join us and get involved through donations, awareness campaigns and customer outreach so that we can accelerate this program and amplify the success we’ve had so far in creating and retaining jobs throughout the country.”

Google Offers, which is a Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) competitor, is expected to generate as much as $3 million through one-day sales of $10 Starbucks vouchers for a daily-deal discount of $5 each, Reuters said. Google Offers will then donate $3 from each sale to Create Jobs for USA. Banana Republic has pledged $1 million to be drawn from two four-day sales, including one starting later this month.

Create Jobs for USA provides much-needed financing for small businesses that have difficulty securing loans for traditional financial institutions. Reuters cited Brunswick, Maine-based Gelato Fiasco, which lost bank financing for a second gelato store in Portland, Maine, last year. Create Jobs for USA found a lender that provided the small company with a loan in excess of $100,000. The financing permitted business owner Josh Davis to launch the second store, hiring six workers, Reuters said.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/04/starbucks-jobs-fund-finds-new-partners/.

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