Home > Smart Business Tips > Lattes and Loans: Starbucks Partnering with OFN to Provide Small Business Financing

Lattes and Loans: Starbucks Partnering with OFN to Provide Small Business Financing

Earlier this month, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz shared his plan to solicit donations from Starbucks customers to help fund small businesses in a joint program with the Opportunity Finance Network called Create Jobs for USA. Starting November 1, for every $5 donated at a Starbucks (roughly the cost of a second grande non-fat Pumpkin Spice Latte), you can walk out with a cool wristband and the satisfaction of helping fund Main Street. Starbucks has already made a $5 million donation, which, coincidentally, would yield enough wristbands for each QuickBooks user out there.

Important to point out is the subtle note that verifies each wristband is made in the USA!

Small businesses that have not been able to obtain a loan through conventional banking methods may be eligible to receive a Starbucks loan. Whether you’re just starting up or looking to expand,  there is one basic requirement: proof that jobs will be created (temporary or permanent) by the business seeking the loan. According to this NJ.com article, one new job will be created for every $3,000 donated to the program. If you think your business qualifies, you can start the process by visiting the OFN Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Finder. (Very easy to use – a quick search yielded two in my community).

While Starbucks is the latest to receive kudos for helping out the little guy, they’re certainly not the first. The Sam Adams brewery has provided small business loans and free business education seminars to the community since April, although clearly an additional requirement to receiving a Sam Adams loan is being at least 21 years of age (the website prompts you to verify your age twice before you can even get to the link provided above).

Regardless of your preference to fill your mugs with coffee vs. beer, I think we can all raise our glasses to these two companies and their positive steps towards investing back into entrepreneurship. Cheers until next week!

What other micro-lending ventures have you heard about? Leave a comment to share resources with other small business owners here. 

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  1. November 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    Wow this is a nice word to hear from starbucks, would create a great jobs if pushed through.

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