Black Restaurant Accelerator aims to boost Black-owned businesses in Atlanta

Atlanta is one of 12 cities participating in National Urban League and PepsiCo.'s Black Restaurant Accelerator. / Courtesy of National Urban League
Atlanta is one of 12 cities participating in National Urban League and PepsiCo.'s Black Restaurant Accelerator. / Courtesy of National Urban League

Credit: PepsiCo

Credit: PepsiCo

Businesses in 12 U.S. cities will be eligible for assistance via $10 million grant

Black restaurant owners in Atlanta and 11 other cities are set to get a boost through a new partnership between the National Urban League and PepsiCo.

The Black Restaurant Accelerator will assist approximately 500 Black-owned businesses over the next five years via a $10 million grant from the PepsiCo Foundation. The program will provide current and aspiring Black restaurateurs with access to capital, training, mentorship and other support services.

“Black entrepreneurs have long faced systemic barriers to growth, including access to loans and capital, biased community perceptions and gentrification challenges,” according to a press release issued by PepsiCo.

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A report from the University of California, Santa Cruz estimates that 41% of Black-owned businesses have shuttered since February 2020, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses.

Through National Urban League Entrepreneurship Centers in 12 cities, the Black Restaurant Accelerator will pair participants with entrepreneurship advisors and PepsiCo employee volunteers to help them create a business plan.

The National Urban League, which describes itself as a “civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities,” will begin accepting applications for the program in the first quarter of 2021.

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The organization is currently building criteria to evaluate local restaurant needs, with the goal of assisting 30-40 restaurants in each of the 12 cities over five years.

PepsiCo has participated in several other recent initiatives to assist Black-owned restaurants, including sponsoring Black Restaurant Week and the Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership program.

More information on the Black Restaurant Accelerator can be found here.

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