Mercy Loan Fund receives grant from Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network's "Create Jobs for USA" Program

National CDFI Receives First Round Capital Grant in New Initiative to Spur Job Creation in the US

DENVER, CO – A local community lender received a $173,500 capital grant from the Create Jobs for USA Fund, a collaboration between Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The money will help Mercy Loan Fund to create and sustain jobs nationally as part of a national campaign to support small, community businesses.

Mercy Loan Fund is one of just 28 community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the nation to win a grant in the inaugural funding round. The grant was made possible by a $5 million seed contribution from the Starbucks Foundation. The Create Jobs for USA Fund expects to raise tens of millions of dollars more, according to a spokesman, and one hundred percent of these donations will go to CDFIs to finance underserved community businesses, and help create and sustain jobs in underserved communities.

The Create Jobs for USA Fund is now 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 Mercy Loan Fund lending for job creation and retention across the US. CDFIs that are Members of Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) will compete for these funds on a rolling basis.

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. “Mercy Loan 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 first-round grant to us,” said Julie Gould, President of Mercy Loan Fund. “Create Jobs for USA is unprecedented for the CDFI industry. It is shining a national spotlight on our work and will help Mercy Loan to create and sustain jobs in areas in which it lends.”

Community development financial institutions (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 learn more about the program, or apply for a loan, can get more information at: http://opportunityfinance.net/findacdfi.

Mercy Loan Fund works nationally with socially responsible affordable housing and community developers, providing innovative financing arrangements for credit-worthy projects for which conventional financing is not available or affordable.

About Mercy Loan Fund

Mercy Loan Fund, a subsidiary of the national affordable housing organization Mercy Housing, provides financing to hundreds of local nonprofit organizations, enabling them to build or preserve affordable housing in their communities. Since 1985, the organization has made 431 loans in 37 states totaling $206 million, resulting in 17,300 affordable homes for nearly 48,600 residents. These loans have leveraged more than $1.4 billion in total development funding.  Mercy Loan Fund is certified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Mercy Loan Fund was formed with the goal of supporting the mission of Mercy Housing by making loans for affordable housing developments when conventional financing is not possible or affordable. For information about Mercy Loan Fund, please visit www.mercyloanfund.org.

About Opportunity Finance Network

Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) is the national network of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)—private financial institutions that are 100 percent dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable lending to help low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged people and communities join the economic mainstream. CDFIs in the OFN network serve all 50 states, and OFN Member CDFIs originated more than $23.2 billion in financing in urban, rural, and Native communities through 2009. More information is available at: www.opportunityfinance.net.

About Create Jobs for USA

Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network have joined forces to help create and sustain jobs in communities across the country. Create Jobs for USA is a bold initiative to spark new financing to community businesses so they can hire and preserve jobs. Learn more or donate now at: www.createjobsforusa.org.

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