Four local development groups in underserved communities will be the recipients of $2.5 million each thanks to the generosity of Starbucks. The US coffee company and coffeehouse chain is hoping that this will result in economic growth for the area. Awardees are: Accion Chicago, Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the International Film Festival.
This money will be used to finance 500+ loans for small businesses in Chicago via the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). Struggling businesses will be able to get advice and in some cases financial help – resources they could not have accessed otherwise via traditional sources such as financial institutions. According to Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO:
“We believe the pursuit of profit is not in conflict with the pursuit of doing good. 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 with access to capital and mentorship to grow their business and create more jobs in Chicago.”
Starbucks is not the first corporation to offer such help. A little over a year ago JPMorgan Chase & Co. invested $10million for the provision of properties for black business development in the Windy City.