The Progress Fund Receives Grant from Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network's "Create Jobs for USA" Initiative
The Progress Fund Receives Grant from Starbucks
and Opportunity Finance Network’s "Create Jobs for USA" Initiative
Local CDFI to Help Spur Job Creation in the US
(Greensburg, PA) February 8, 2012 - The Progress Fund, a local community lender, announced today that it has received a capital grant from the Create Jobs for USA Fund, a collaboration between Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The money The Progress Fund received will help create and sustain jobs in Western Pennsylvania and surrounding states as part of a national campaign to support community businesses in underserved communities.
The Progress Fund is one of the top-tier community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the nation to be awarded a grant from the fund since the program began allocating awards in November of 2011. TheCreate Jobs for USA Fund pools donations from Starbucks customers, partners/employees, and concerned citizens into a nationwide fund, held and managed by OFN, for community business lending. Donors who contribute $5 or more will receive a red, white, and blue wristband with the message "Indivisible." The wristbands are individually handmade in the U.S.A. and all component materials are manufactured by U.S. suppliers, so the effort is also helping support American manufacturing jobs.
Since November 1, The Create Jobs for USA Fund has been collecting donations at www.CreateJobsforUSA.org and at nearly 7,000 company-operated Starbucks across the country. 100% of the donations will support organizations like The Progress Fund lending for job creation and retention across the US.
"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, President and CEO of OFN. "The Progress Fund received this grant because it has demonstrated that it will provide financing that is good for community businesses and good for communities."
"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 grant to us," said Karen L. Post, CFO of The Progress Fund. "Create Jobs for USA is unprecedented for the CDFI industry. It is shining a national spotlight on our work and will help The Progress Fund to create and sustain jobs in Western Pennsylvania."
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.
Community business owners who would like to apply for a loan from The Progress Fund can get more information at: www.progressfund.org. To find other CDFIs, visit http://opportunityfinance.net/findacdfi today.
The Progress Fund creates economic opportunity by lending needed capital and providing entrepreneurial coaching to underserved entrepreneurs with the goal to build wealth and create living wage jobs in Northern Appalachia (40 counties in Pennsylvania, 22 Appalachian counties in Ohio, Mountain Maryland, and the entire state of West Virginia). While The Progress Fund focuses on helping small businesses in the tourism industry and local foods industry, they have helped a wide range of businesses including: restaurants, bed & breakfasts, small inns and hotels, outdoor outfitters, campgrounds, bicycle and canoe rentals, retailers from gift shops to clothiers, coffee shops, general stores, local foods producers, wineries and spirit distillers, small-scale manufacturers, and professional services firms.
For more information about The Progress Fund, please contact David Kahley, President & CEO at 724-216-9160 Ext. 310.