The program has been a lifeline for many people across the country who continue to experience the impact of the pandemic. A shining example of the progress made by grant recipients in 11 other cities with the support of the BRA, Vaucresson Sausage Co. – which has operated for three generations in the historic 7and Ward since 1899 and is the last food vendor to serve the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – will launch Vaucresson Creole Café & Deli. This commercial expansion breathes new life into a century and a quarter of New Orleans’ Creole tradition. Companion Louisiana establishments include Addis NolaMany Eats, Ray’s on The Avenue and Taste and see the services of a personal chef. Across the country, 100 restaurateurs used the $10,000 grants to:
- Save more than 60 jobs and hire staff
- Develop their activities by opening new sites
- Expand their businesses by taking actions such as upgrading or purchasing delivery vehicles, investing in kitchen equipment, installing 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 received support including:
- 1,150 counseling sessions and 1,185 training sessions to provide the resources needed to grow their businesses
- Approximately $1.6 million funding opportunities and contracts
- Creation of 14 new commercial enterprises
“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 ventures and establish a legacy for generations,” said Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League. “As the pandemic has deepened the disparities that plague our communities, the impact of this program is a testament to the resilience we can foster when we provide the right support. And we need others in the business community and policy makers to step up, join us, and act urgently to ensure these entrepreneurs have fair access to critical resources.”
The pandemic has hit black-owned businesses the hardest, with 58% are already facing financial difficulties. According to a University of California, Santa Cruz study, 41% of black-owned businesses have since closed February 2020 compared to only 17% of white-owned businesses. In New Orleans, many had to do tough decisions about the future of businesses who have been in their family for generations.
“Investing to ensure the survival of Black-owned restaurants is essential to enabling communities to thrive,” said CD Glin, Vice Chairman of the PepsiCo Foundation and Global Head of Philanthropy, PepsiCo. “Our partnership with the National Urban League and its Entrepreneurship Centers offers comprehensive support in that it provides more than just access to capital, but also essential support services that help them rethink their businesses and make them durable for generations.”
“As we welcome back tourists amid cultural events returning to the city, it is essential to preserve institutions like black-owned restaurants,” mentioned Judy Reese MorsePresident and CEO, Urban League of Louisiana. “The Black Restaurant Accelerator is essential to addressing some of the historic challenges and reversing the trends as we seek to preserve the businesses that feed the soul of New Orleans.”
As one of the world’s leading convenient food and beverage companies, PepsiCo recognizes the importance of addressing deep-rooted inequality and creating long-term economic opportunity for Black communities. In 2020, PepsiCo launched its journey for racial equality, which focuses on three pillars: People, businesses and communities. More information can be found here.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than a billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $79 billion net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenience food portfolio that includes Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Leading PepsiCo is our vision to be the global leader in convenient food and beverage by winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our end-to-end strategic transformation that puts sustainability at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
About the PepsiCo Foundation
Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essentials of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. By working with nonprofit organizations and experts around the world, we strive to help communities access food security, clean water and economic opportunity. We strive to have a tangible impact in the places where we live and work, collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations and our employees to bring about large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and which are of global importance. Learn more about www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.
About the National Urban League
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment to raise living standards in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League leads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through program development, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people each year in all the countries. To visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.
 University of California, Santa Cruz2020
SOURCE PepsiCo Foundation