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Starbucks starts fund to spur U,S. jobs

Oct 3, 2011, 4:35 a.m.
Poeple walk past the Starbucks outlet on 47th and 8th Avenue in New York June 29, 2010. REUTERS/Lily Bowers

(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp on Monday said it is helping create a nationwide fund to help individuals and small businesses borrow money at low cost in a bid to spur U.S. job creation.

The coffee store chain said it introduced the "Create Jobs for USA" fund in partnership with the Opportunity Finance Network, a group of private financial institutions that provide affordable loans to low income people.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz in a statement called small business an engine for jobs growth that has stalled, noting the need "to thaw the channels of credit so that community businesses can start hiring again."

The fund will be seeded with a $5 million donation from the Starbucks Foundation.

As of November 1, the fund will accept donations online and at 6,800 U.S. Starbucks cafes. Donors who give $5 or more will get a wristband with the word "Indivisible."

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Derek Caney)

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