Program Also Supported an Additional 400 Black-Owned Eateries with Training, Mentoring and Support That Helped the Businesses Obtain $1.6 Million in Contracts and Financing
While Progress Has Been Made, Many Black Restaurateurs Across the Country Are Still Struggling to Survive, Underpinning a Call for More Support
The Black Restaurant Accelerator (BRA), a joint initiative of the National Urban League and the PepsiCo Foundation, today marked the milestone of its first 100 grant recipients with the soft opening of a new restaurant made possible by the program.
Part of PepsiCo’s $400 million Racial Equality Journey commitments, the BRA is a five-year, $10 million investment from the PepsiCo Foundation in partnership with the National Urban League to preserve and support Black-owned restaurants.
The program has been a lifeline for many across the nation who continue to experience the impact of the pandemic. A shining example of the progress that grant recipients in 11 other cities have made with the BRA’s support, Vaucresson Sausage Co. – which has operated throughout three generations in the historic 7th Ward since 1899 and is the last remaining food vendor to have served the inaugural New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – will launch Vaucresson Creole Café & Deli.
This business expansion breathes new life into a century and a quarter of New Orleans’ Creole tradition. Fellow Louisiana establishments include Addis Nola, Beaucoup Eats, Ray’s on The Avenue and Taste & See Personal Chef Services. Nationwide, 100 restaurateurs used the $10,000 grants to:
Save more than 60 jobs and hire staff expand their businesses by opening new locations grow their businesses with by taking actions like upgrading or procuring delivery vehicles, investing in kitchen equipment, setting up outdoor seating amid COVID regulations, launching marketing efforts including digital platforms to reach more consumers
In addition to supporting 100 restaurants with grants, 400 additional Black-owned restaurants were provided with support including:
1,150 counseling and 1,185 training sessions to provide resources needed to grow their businesses Approximately $1.6 million of financing and contract opportunities Creating 14 new business ventures
“Black-owned businesses are the beating heart of our communities. We’ve supported small businesses for decades and watched how they create jobs, inspire new enterprises, and establish legacies for generations,” said Marc H. Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League.