Starbucks Launches Create Jobs for USA Drive

Starbucks officially began a new program Tuesday through which Americans can donate to the creation of new jobs in the US simply by choosing Starbucks for their morning cup of coffee. The coffee giant unveiled the program, called Create Jobs for USA, in early October. The retailer will accept donations to the program, aimed at helping small businesses create jobs, at any of the company’s nearly 6,800 US locations. Donations can also be made at a website set up for the initiative,

Donations collected by Starbucks through the drive will then be handed over to an organization called the Opportunity Finance Network, a group of 180 financial institutions that will provide low-interest, government-backed loans to small businesses with the hope that the additional capital could encourage the companies to create jobs.

As an incentive to get its customers to donate to the cause, Starbucks is giving away free red, white and blue wristbands to any customers who donate at least $5. The company also got the donating started, with a one-time contribution of $5 million, and has heavily marketed the campaign in addition to covering the administrative costs for the program. According to estimates compiled by independent economists, the program will be able to extend $35 in loan principle for every $5 donated.