Starting a career was not the biggest challenge in Marta Swiac’s life. She was quickly promoted from barista to shift supervisor at a Starbucks store in London’s Covent Garden district. But she almost abandoned her “dream job” due to the high cost of living in England’s capital.
“I was contemplating leaving London and moving to a different part of the country where the pressure of living wasn’t so high,” Swiac said. “Then my store manager told me about the company's new program to help pay my deposit for a flat.”
Swiac is one of the first applicants now benefiting from a program Starbucks UK announced in September 2015 called Home Sweet Loan – an initiative developed with Shelter and Generation Rent as the Tenancy Deposit Loan Scheme.
“I really appreciate the financial security Home Sweet Loan has given me,” she added.
Starbucks is the first private company to offer the program, which aims to help UK partners (employees), particularly those under 25 years old, tackle the cost of living by providing interest-free loans that can be paid back over 12 months. The program is available to partners in company-owned Starbucks UK stores who have been with the business for at least one year and who would like to apply for a loan to help pay their rental deposit. Starbucks will loan a maximum amount of one month’s wages, paid within four weeks of application, to be repaid over the course of a year.
“Since launching the Home Sweet Loan rental deposit scheme to our partners, we’ve seen a very positive response,” said Lisa Robbins, Starbucks director, Partner Resources. “Designed to ease the process of moving into a new home, a time when we know finances are stretched, we’re really pleased to have seen our first applicants have been able to benefit from the loan.”
“As housing costs keep rising, more and more people are struggling to scrape together the deposit needed to rent a home,” added Campbell Robb, Shelter chief executive. “We hope to see other UK employers follow Starbucks example and give renters the helping hand they need.”
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