When Government Fails, Look to—Starbucks?

With jobs legislation floundering in the Senate, Starbucks is creating a pool of cash for microlending to small businesses. The company claims every $3,000 represents a new job.  

What's the Latest Development?

With jobs legislation floundering in the Senate, Starbucks has announced it will create a pool of cash specifically for the purpose of lending to small businesses. The initiative is called Create Jobs for U.S.A. and will be managed in conjunction with Opportunity Finance Networking. "I'm just doing this as a private citizen trying to make a difference," said Starbucks C.E.O. Howard Schultz. To be eligible for the fund's grants or loans, businesses must demonstrate that they will create community-based jobs. 

What's the Big Idea?

Starbucks will make an initial contribution of $5 million and then open the pool to donations. The company claims that every $3,000 is the equivalent of one job created. How so? "Reuters reports that by donating $5 to the fund, this will in turn generate $35 which can be used for small business and nonprofit financing." If the fund is able to create jobs, it will be a positive development. But the current national government is no less reproachable if a few massive corporations donate a pittance to the unemployment crisis. 

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