A New Hampshire community lender today received a $231,000 grant from the Create Jobs for USA Fund, a collaboration between Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The money will help the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (Community Loan Fund) create and sustain jobs in New Hampshire as part of a national campaign to support small, community businesses.
The Community Loan Fund is one of just 28 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the nation to win a grant in the inaugural funding round. The grant was made possible by a $5-million seed contribution from the Starbucks Foundation. The Fund expects to raise tens of millions of dollars more, according to a spokesman, and 100% of these donations will go to CDFIs to finance underserved community businesses, and to help create and sustain jobs in underserved communities
Starting yesterday, the Create Jobs for USA Fund is collecting donations at www.CreateJobsforUSA.org and at nearly 7,000 company-operated Starbucks across the country. CDFIs that are OFN members will compete for these funds on a rolling basis.
“Create Jobs for USA is making it possible for Americans who have $5 to share help people who don’t have $5 to spare by creating and retaining jobs in their communities,” explained Mark Pinsky, OFN’s President and CEO. “The Community Loan Fund received this grant because it has demonstrated that it will provide financing that is good for community businesses and good for communities.”
The Create Jobs for USA campaign will benefit business owners like Brad Sterl Jr., CEO of Rustic Crust in Pittsfield. Sterl, one of the business owners featured on the Create Jobs for USA Web site, needed financing to expand his business but was turned down by traditional lenders.
A $500,000 loan from the Community Loan Fund’s Vested for Growth team helped Sterl get his artisan-quality, natural and organic pizza products into more stores and create nearly 20 new jobs in a depressed and job-needy area of New Hampshire.
“We’re pleased that Starbucks recognizes the important work that CDFIs are doing, and honored that the Create Jobs for USA Fund has made a first-round grant to us,” said Community Loan Fund President Juliana Eades. “Create Jobs for USA is unprecedented for the CDFI industry. It is shining a national spotlight on our work and will help the Community Loan Fund get New Hampshire’s small businesses the financing they need create and sustain jobs.”
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) provide financing to community businesses in underserved markets where would-be community business owners may not qualify for credit from traditional lending institutions. Community businesses include small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate developers, and affordable housing developers. All of these community businesses help to create and sustain local jobs.
For information about the Community Loan Fund’s Small-Business Loans, please go to http://www.communityloanfund.org/businessloans. Businesses located outside of New Hampshire can find a local CDFI lender at http://opportunityfinance.net/findacdfi.