With the release of the jobs report last week, it appears that the job market and the economy as a whole are on a slow road to recovery.  While previous reports indicated more positive estimations, the jobs report states that 96,000 new jobs were created last month and that the unemployment rate is 8.1%, a mere .2% decrease from July.  The decrease in the unemployment rate is not reflective of an increase in the workforce, but rather more people stopped looking for a job (to be counted in the unemployment numbers, one must actively be looking for work).

Creating employment opportunities across the country is the goal of Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and Starbucks.  Collectively, they initiated Create Jobs for USA, a donation-based fund that supports job creation on the local level.  Since the program was created in November 2011, the Fund has raised nearly $13.5 million through individual and corporate support, which will be dispersed to CDFIs representing underserved communities across the country.  More than 700,000 Starbucks customers and friends have supported the program through individual contributions.  Corporate sponsors Banana Republic, Google Offers, and CITI have contributed millions of dollars between them, and MasterCard is the newest corporate sponsor with a $500,000 donation.

There are several ways you can support the Create Jobs for USA program.  One is to visit the program’s website and make an on-line donation.  Another is to stop by your local Starbucks and pick up your Indivisible bracelet with your $5 donation.  Banana Republic offers you another option.  Between October 18-21, the retail outlet will host its second special shopping event, when shoppers will receive 25% off their entire purchase and Banana Republic will donate 5% of total purchases over the 4-day shopping event to Create Jobs for USA (up to $500,000).

The SC Community Loan Fund is creating jobs on the local level.  CLF utilized its two grant awards totaling $34,500 from the Create Jobs for USA Fund to finance a local housing development that created 10 jobs for local residents.  Since 2004, CLF has created 2,803 jobs throughout the Lowcountry.

To learn more about CLF’s lending programs, contact Patrick King at 843-737-6153 or patrick@sccommunityloanfund.org.