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Starbucks launches job growth campaign

Starbucks is launching its own campaign to help the economy, and it hopes you'll participate by spending an extra $5.

October 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Starbucks is launching its own campaign to help the economy, and it hopes you'll participate by spending an extra $5- not on more coffee but on their cause.

Starting Nov. 1, the chain is collecting donations of $5 or more for the "Jobs for USA Program."

The company says 100 percent of the donations will go toward loans for businesses and organizations to add or retain jobs.

Starbucks, which pioneered how Americans drink coffee, declined to estimate how much money it plans to raise, but millions of people visit its nearly 7,000 company-owned U.S. stores each day.

Customers who donate will receive a red, white and blue wristband that says "Indivisible."

The program is the latest effort by CEO Howard Schultz to address the nation's economic woes. In August, he sent more than 200,000 Starbucks employees a memo urging them to do what they can to help business thrive.

Then, he asked fellow CEOs to stop contributing to political campaigns until the nation's leaders reached a long-term economic solution. After that, he hosted a national telephone forum, bought full-page ads in two major newspapers and started a website, Upwardspiral2011.org.

Starbucks is hiring about 200 people a day in the U.S. as part of its efforts to remodel thousands of stores and add about 200 more locations in the next year.

The Starbucks Foundation is giving $5 million to get the program started, with the hope that funds will be invested in communities within a month of a donation being made.

The Seattle-based coffee chain is collaborating with the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit that works with nearly 200 community development financial institutions to provide loans to small businesses and community groups.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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