Did you hear what’s brewing in Chicago? Starbucks Coffee Company announced a $10 million investment to drive economic opportunity in the city’s underserved communities. The funds, which are slated to help finance more than 500 loans to support small businesses and create jobs, will be disbursed among four community lenders with expertise in those neighborhoods, and LISC Chicago is one. The investment “will deliver clear benefits to residents, while making our neighborhoods safer and stronger,” said LISC Chicago ED Meghan Harte.
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Starbucks invests $10 million in small business in Chicago
Starbucks Stories & News
CHICAGO – Today, Starbucks Coffee Company announced its plans to invest $10 million in four community lenders to drive economic opportunity in Chicago. Starbucks investment is expected to help finance more than 500 loans to foster growth in small business, support community development projects and create more jobs in Chicago’s underserved communities.
“We believe the pursuit of profit is not in conflict with the pursuit of doing good,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. “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.”
“I applaud Starbucks for their commitment of corporate citizenship and efforts to strengthen the communities in which they serve,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “Chicago’s own relationship with Starbucks stretches over three decades, and we are incredibly excited to continue that partnership well into the future, through the 200 new jobs created in the beautiful new Reserve Roastery, as well as across our neighborhoods that aligns to our new INVEST South/West initiative, as we work together to drive investment and access to opportunity for every one of our city’s residents and families.”
The $10 million investment from Starbucks is planned to be dispersed among Accion Chicago, Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and IFF — four established Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) that drive economic opportunity in the city’s neighborhoods, especially within those with little access to the flexible, affordable capital that entrepreneurs need. In addition to lending, the organizations will provide borrowers with mentoring and technical assistance to ensure the success of their projects.
“Our communities are filled with talent and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Meghan Harte, executive director of LISC Chicago, which has invested more than $970M in grants, loans and equity throughout Chicago. “What they often lack is access to the right kind of capital so that entrepreneurs can launch, build and grow. With this investment, Starbucks is supporting a broadly shared prosperity that will deliver clear benefits to residents, while making our neighborhoods safer and stronger.”