PepsiCo announced Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow), a $50 million platform to strengthen Hispanic-owned businesses, specifically restaurants, bodegas, and carnicerías (meat markets), addressing foundational business challenges, and supporting business growth over the next five years.
Juntos Crecemos is part of PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative, a $172 million set of commitments launched in October of last year, the company said in a press release.
According to a study by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic-owned businesses alone contribute over $800 billion in economic activity and play a central role in their communities.
According to a Stanford University survey, as a result of the pandemic, 86% of Hispanic small business owners reported significant negative impacts, including complete closure, and were only half as likely as their white counterparts to receive the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. This, coupled with the historic systemic barriers affecting wealth and educational attainment, contributes to smaller business income among Hispanic business owners, according to research conducted by the Small Business Association.
“Juntos Crecemos and The PepsiCo Foundation IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator bring our Racial Equality Journey and PepsiCo’s values to life,” said Esperanza Teasdale, VP & GM, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Beverages North America. “We’re proud and committed to supporting and elevating the voice of the Hispanic small business community that is impacted by systemic inequality.”
How Juntos Crecemos Benefits Hispanic Small Business Owners
Small business owners participating in Juntos Crecemos will have access to the Hispanic Digital & Delivery Program, a customized eight-week consultation curriculum tailored to meet their specific needs, including helping them improve their online presence, delivery logistics, online ordering, and marketing practices.
Participants will also have access to consultation from experts via office hours, where they will receive coaching and guidance on devising solutions for business challenges.
“Providing these resources is critical to delivering on our ambition to drive long-term change and address systemic barriers in communities that too often have been overlooked,” said Antonio Escalona, SVP & GM, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Foods North America. “This is only the beginning, and we are committed to working alongside these restaurants, bodegas, and carnicerías to propel their businesses forward.”
As part of the program, participating bodegas and carnicerías owners will also receive store essentials, including safety kits, consumer promotions, and targeted digital media support. To help raise awareness of Juntos Crecemos and assist with implementation, PepsiCo has partnered with the Latino Food Industry Association (LFIA).
“Hispanic small business owners have disproportionately been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we are excited to work with PepsiCo in bringing this much-needed support to our community,” said Lupillo Ramirez, LFIA president. “Juntos Crecemos will provide valuable guidance and mentoring while connecting and uniting business owners across the country in sharing best practices.”
PepsiCo Foundation Support
As part of the Juntos Crecemos platform, The PepsiCo Foundation is officially launching the IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator, which will provide $10 million in funding to help 500 Hispanic small food and beverage business owners in 13 cities across the U.S. grow their enterprises over the next five years. It will also help these owners overcome systemic economic disparities and create economic opportunity within the community by providing business coaching in English and Spanish and other resources.
“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,” said C.D. Glin, Vice President, The PepsiCo Foundation and Global Head of Philanthropy PepsiCo. “Supporting long-term solutions that drive economic equity in the Hispanic community isn’t just right – it’s imperative. The IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator and Juntos Crecemos are about more than just saving businesses; it is about investing in the people that bring life, culture, and vibrancy to our communities and ensuring that they continue to grow, thrive, and prosper today and for generations to come.”
The Foundation is currently working with Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partners including, Allies for Community Business in Chicago; Ascendus in New York; LiftFund in San Antonio; Accion Opportunity Fund in San Jose and Los Angeles; and DreamSpring in Albuquerque and other local organizations to provide $10,000 grants to beneficiaries and help business owners at every level retain employees and construct long-term business plans to support their future economic success.
While launching in 13 cities (New York City, Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Albuquerque, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Los Angeles, El Paso, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix) where Hispanic-owned small businesses were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, The PepsiCo Foundation plans to expand the IMPACTO program to additional cities over the next five years based on community need.
For additional information about the Juntos Crecemos platform and how local businesses can benefit from it, please visit www.PepsiCoJuntosCrecemos.com.