Two new partners sign on to Create Jobs for USA

Banana Republic

The Banana Republic will be using sales of clothing to support the Create Jobs for the USA fund. Image: Flickr / discarnate / CC-BY-SA

A few months ago, Starbucks launched a nonprofit effort called Create Jobs for USA, which provided funding for loans to small business owners who intend to create jobs. Now, Google and Banana Republic have signed on to help raise money for the fund.

Create Jobs for USA

First funded by Starbucks, the Create Jobs for USA fund offers money to the Opportunity Finance Network, a group of private financial institutions that lend to both individuals and communities. The loans are used mostly to start and bolster small businesses in the United States. Estimates by Starbucks and the Opportunity Finance Network say that for every $1 in funding, the network is able to create $10 of value and financing for these businesses.

Finding new partnerships

Since launching, Create Jobs for USA has received $7.5 million in financing, $2.5 million of which has come from customers of Starbucks. Now, Google and Banana Republic, which is a division of The Gap, have agreed to provide at least another $4 million to the fund. Google will be running a Google Offer that will cost $5 for a $10 Starbucks gift card, and $3 of each of those purchases will be donated to Create Jobs for USA. Google has capped its donation to the Opportunity Finance Network at $3 million, or 1 million gift cards sold.

Banana Republic is providing support to the Opportunity Finance Network with two special shopping events. One from April 19 to April 22 and another later in the year will provide at least 25 percent off on purchases and 5 percent of all of those purchase totals will be donated to OFN. The Gap and Banana Republic have capped their possible donation at $1 million.

Taking a political stance

In addition to the money provided to the Opportunity Finance Network, Starbucks has taken several political stances focused on bringing employment back to the United States. Starbucks has committed to manufacturing some of their products in the United States, and the CEO has called on CEOs of peer companies to withhold donations to political organizations or individuals until the budget is balanced.

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Using Indian labor to support US Jobs

Though The Gap, through The Banana Republic, will be supporting the Create Jobs for USA fund, the move is not without controversy. The Gap uses overseas manufacturing plants, mostly Indian and Chinese factories. There have been class-action suits against The Gap over labor practices, though The Gap has also been ranked as “one of the 100 World’s Most Ethical Companies” and as one of the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Business Ethics magazine.


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