Starbucks has announced a $10 million commitment to bolster economic opportunity in Chicago.
The investment, which is expected to finance more than five hundred loans, will be disbursed through four established community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the city — Accion Chicago, the Chicago Community Loan Fund, the Local Initiative Support Corporation, and IFF — with the aim of supporting small business growth in underserved neighborhoods, community development projects, and jobs initiatives. In addition to lending, the organizations will provide borrowers with mentoring and technical assistance designed to ensure the success of their projects.
"The Chicago Community Loan Fund has been working strategically to create more commercial retail in low-income neighborhoods for a number of years," said CCLF chief operating officer Bob Tucker. "With this influx of capital from Starbucks, CCLF will leverage additional funding to help address Chicago's loss of population in these communities and create not only access to quality goods and services but needed jobs for local residents."
"We believe the pursuit of profit is not in conflict with the pursuit of doing good," said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. "We know that our business performs at its best when the communities we serve are thriving. This sustained investment will provide borrowers who often face barriers...to capital and mentorship to grow their business and create more jobs in Chicago."
(Photo credit: Chicago Community Loan Fund)