As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in the food industry have had to face and overcome numerous challenges. It has been difficult for many small businesses in this industry to navigate through these unprecedented times and set their companies up for success.
As a response to this, the Urban League of Louisiana has partnered with both the National Urban League and the PepsiCo Foundation to set the Black Restaurant Accelerator Program into motion. BRAP is an entrepreneurial immersion program for Black-owned food service operators that are located in Louisiana.
ULLA is also partnering with Proof, a Tennessee-based bar and restaurant, to provide consulting services and focus on restaurant resilience. All of these companies will construct the eight-week course that 24 black-owned businesses in Louisiana will take part in.
The goal of BRAP is to provide support to black-owned food service operators that have suffered financially because of the pandemic. This program will supply candidates with a virtual course that includes immense resources, such as one-on-one weekly meetings and access to a new learning platform. Additionally, there will be multiple live sessions that cover topics such as marketing, human resources, leadership, and finances.
Eligible businesses must meet the following requirements: be at least 51% owned and operated by a Black/African American individual; be a small business following SBA size standards; have operated since 2019; have revenue of less than $250,000 in the year prior to applying for the program; and operate a restaurant, mobile food service, or catering business in Louisiana.
The overall cost of the program is $2,150 per program participant, and the PepsiCo Foundation will be distributing scholarships. The deadline to apply for this program is Friday, August 6 at 5 p.m.
For more information and to apply for the program, please visit urbanleaguela.org/brap.