Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee company, got its start in my hometown. Starbucks should be applauded for their latest initiative, their support for investment in small businesses in the U.S. Starbucks is partnering with Opportunity Finance Network® in order to promote job growth in this Country. According to Starbucks, “the Create Jobs for USA program will provide capital grants to select Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). The CDFIs will provide loans to underserved community businesses, which include small businesses, microenterprises, nonprofit organizations, commercial real estate, and affordable housing. It is the goal of Create Jobs for USA to bring people and communities together to create and sustain jobs throughout America.”
In order to kick off the Create Jobs for USA program, the Starbucks Foundation is making a generous $5 million contribution. Customers visiting Starbucks, either in person or online, can join in supporting the program by making a donation to the Create Jobs for USA fund. For donations of $5 or more, donors will receive an American-made “Indivisible” wristband.
While the Create Jobs for USA program is great, I think Starbucks should take the next step and use its amazing buying power to create a program designed specifically to promote jobs in the manufacturing sector in this country. Starbucks should adopt the following new policy: As of January 1, 2012, Starbucks will only sell personal coffee cups in its stores if the cups are manufactured in the U.S. At my local Starbucks, I was able to find one American made coffee cup. The overwhelming majority were made in China. Imagine the impact Starbucks could have on the mug manufacturing sector in this country if all 11,000 of its stores in this country sold nothing but U.S. made coffee cups. Starbucks must sell millions of personal coffee cups in any given year. A Starbucks’ “only U.S. cups for our coffee” policy would create a lot of jobs here in this country. So the next time you visit Starbucks, encourage them to ditch the Chinese cups and instead serve up their steaming brew in a cup made by a member of our extended American family. Wouldn’t that be tasty!