PepsiCo Launches Platform Supporting Hispanic-Owned Small Businesses
PepsiCo is doing its part to help small business owners across the United States with its latest efforts. Juntos Crecemos (translating to “Together We Grow”) is a $50 million platform specifically aimed at Hispanic-owned restaurants, bodegas, and carnicerías. It’s also part of PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative, which was announced last year.
The Juntos Crecemos platform has several components, ranging from info and resources to additional programs. For example, the Hispanic Digital & Delivery Program is an eight-week consultation curriculum that helps entrepreneurs grow their online presence, marketing, and more. Currently, those interested in this customized program can apply on the Juntos Crecemos site.
Also part of the platform is the IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator. This program will distribute $10 million in funding to 500 independent restaurants located in 13 cities, helping them grow over the next five years. Correlating with the launch of Juntos Crecemos, PepsiCo also announced the first 150 IMPACTO grant winners. Some of these recipients included Chicago’s La Peña Restaurante, De Mi Fogón in Houston, L.A.’s Cuernavaca’s Grill, Miami’s 8 Burger, and Claudy’s Kitchen in the Bronx
As PepsiCo notes, a study by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce shows that Hispanic-owned businesses not only play a key role in their communities but also contribute more than $800 billion to the economy each year. Unfortunately, a Stanford University survey found 86% of Hispanic small business owners reporting suffering significant negative impacts from the pandemic. This included some owners that were forced to close their businesses for good.
Commenting on PepsiCo’s efforts, the VP & GM of the company’s Hispanic Business Unit in North America Esperanza Teasdale stated, “Juntos Crecemos and The PepsiCo Foundation IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator bring our Racial Equality Journey and PepsiCo’s values to life. We’re proud and committed to supporting and elevating the voice of the Hispanic small business community that is impacted by systemic inequality.” C.D. Glin, the VP of the PepsiCo Foundation and Global Head of Philanthropy for the brand, added, “The contributions of Hispanic communities are an integral part of the fabric of American culture. Unfortunately, the community has also long faced systemic barriers to success – a divide only deepened by the impact of COVID-19. Supporting long-term solutions that drive economic equity in the Hispanic community isn’t just right – it’s imperative.”
Overall, it’s encouraging to see a major brand like PepsiCo not only stepping in to assist small businesses but also focusing on a particularly hard-hit community. What’s more, while smaller grant programs that have popped up in recent months have been helpful, the IMPACTO program, wider Juntos Crecemos platform, and even larger Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative are significant undertakings that are sure to be beneficial to hundreds if not thousands of small business owners. For more information on these programs and more, be sure to check out the Juntos Crecemos website.