“Washington is not doing enough,” so businesses have to “step up,” Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz said yesterday in a telephone interview. Customers of the Seattle- based company have given about $2 million to Create Jobs for USA since it was created last year. The Starbucks Foundation seeded the fund with $5 million to finance loans to small businesses.

“These are like-minded companies who recognize that we all must do our part and can’t wait for Washington,” he said, declining to name the specific companies, which will be announced later this year.

Since Nov. 1, Starbucks has collected money at its U.S. cafes to help fund small-business loans. It teamed up with Opportunity Finance Network, which represents institutions that provide credit to community businesses, to form “Create Jobs for USA.” Through December, the fund has made 278 loans to businesses in the U.S.

Photo by Shinsuke Ikegame

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