CHICAGO - Starbucks Corp., the world’s largest coffee shop operator, will start collecting donations online and at some of its cafes to spur job creation among community businesses in the United States.
Starbucks will accept money beginning Nov. 1 to help fund loans to small businesses, according to a statement yesterday. Seattle-based Starbucks is working with Opportunity Finance Network, which represents institutions that provide credit to community businesses, to form “Create Jobs for USA.’’
“We’re going to raise millions of dollars,’’ Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said yesterday in a telephone interview, declining to give a specific number. “This is about Americans helping Americans,’’ he said.
In August, Schultz, 58, asked fellow chief executives and business leaders to boycott donating to US political campaigns to encourage leaders to solve the nation’s growing budget deficit. Last month, he sent a letter to President Obama and Congress urging them to put partisanship aside to find a solution to unemployment.
Starbucks will open at least 200 new stores and remodel 1,700 US locations, which will create “well over 2,000 jobs,’’ Schultz said.
Donations will be earmarked in a special fund at the network and distributed to 180 community development financial institutions that provide credit to US small businesses. Starbucks is giving $5 million to start the fund.