Deputy mayor says Starbucks move will help “create jobs in Ward 8”

D.C. Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney R. Snowden announced at a community meeting on Oct. 3 that Starbucks will help create jobs east of the Anacostia River.

“For too long, many of our neighborhoods East of the River have felt left out and locked out of development in their community. This partnership will inject good jobs into the heart of historic Anacostia.” Snowden said in a statement.

Starbucks opened 15 stores in low-income urban communities last year- Photo by Frankie/Unsplash

Starbucks helped residents throughout the city mostly those in Ward 7 purchase homes with stock.

Snowden also said that the Seattle based chain will help draw other retails to begin businesses in Ward 8.

Southeast Resident Aaron Holmes, appreciates Starbucks business throughout the city but felt local businesses would have been better for Ward 8.

“Starbucks is a wonderful company and I applaud their footprint throughout the city, I do believe east of the river a local business would have been a better option,” Holmes said.

Holmes added that local businesses and not national chains can connect to the communities they serve better.

“If you have a local chain you can have poetry night or book clubs or kinds of things that can take place within the walls of that building,” Holmes said.

Last year, Starbucks opened 15 stores in low-income urban communities across the country as part of its commitment to creating jobs in under-represented neighborhoods.

“We have a long history of developing stores in diverse neighborhoods… to bring great jobs, engage young people, and drive economic opportunity for all," former Starbucks Chief Community Officer and Chair of the Starbucks Foundation Blair Taylor said in a Starbucks press release.

Starbucks did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The announcement to bring Starbucks to Ward 8 was part of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s effort to create more economic opportunities for Anacostia residents.  The store will open at the end of 2018.

Ward 8 Council Member Trayon White, shared the concerns of residents who feared they might have to move out of their communities due to lack of employment when Starbucks opens and reassured them this move would rather give economic opportunities to the entire community.

“As a leader of our community, my job is to make sure that these residents that stay in our community are able to stay and grow into our ward,” White said.