Many of us in the U.S. have just returned from the long weekend. I saw some friends, enjoyed the good weather, but I also took time to reflect on some important issues. Like jobs and the economy. Fitting, right? It was, after all, Labor Day.
But current statistics are disappointing. Unemployment in the U.S. remains at 8.3 percent. What’s more, 1 in 3 small businesses say they can’t get the financing they need to fuel growth.
Numbers like this stay with me because I’m lucky enough to be employed by a company that believes in teaching entrepreneurship and helping small businesses. MasterCard offers help in a number of ways, including the MasterCard Business Network and a SpendingPulse Report just for small businesses. And let’s not forget all the efficiencies and financial management control you have just by using electronic commerce over cash and check.
Small businesses are the engine of the U.S. economy, employing over half of all private sector workers. That’s why MasterCard joined Starbucks and other companies in supporting Opportunity Finance Network’s ‘Create Jobs for USA’ program, helping secure loans for new or underserved community businesses.
Create Jobs for USA brings people and communities together, giving us all an active role in addressing the jobs crisis. Success stories include: Institute for Family Health, a health center network that operates 26 full- and part-time centers in Harlem and the mid-Hudson Valley; and Glass of Milk Cake Company, a Kansas City bakery, offering ‘hero discounts’ to veterans, teachers and public servants. It now sells its baked goods nationally. I love hearing stories like that and am proud of the contribution MasterCard made to Create Jobs for USA.
Labor Day is behind us now, but the opportunity to enable financial inclusion remains. Together with OFN and Starbucks, we’re trying to make a difference.