NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – Carrying both pandemic issues and a systemic lack of access to capital, hundreds of Hispanic-owned businesses are receiving a much needed boost from the PepsiCo Foundation.
Opening the doors of her Peruvian restaurant, Claudy’s Kitchen, was a lifelong dream for Claudia Berroa.
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“I come from a poor family, but now I think the restaurant shares my family recipes,” she said.
But sharing these dishes was not easy. The family-run New York restaurant opened during the pandemic last summer.
“The week we opened two restaurants closed on that block, so we were very scared,” said Rich Berroa.
A 2020 report from Stanford University found that 86% of Latino-owned businesses suffered immediate negative effects from the pandemic, and they were disproportionately less likely to receive government assistance, such as PPP loans.
“I know especially for PPP, our bank was prioritizing larger loans,” Rich said.
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Claudy’s Kitchen has secured support from the PepsiCo Foundation, which is investing $ 50 million in Hispanic restaurants, bodegas and butchers through its “Juntos Crecemos” program, which means “together we grow”.
“These are places where mothers and fathers make a living but also raise their children, and so those legacies are lost when we lose Hispanic businesses,” says CD Glin, vice president of the PepsiCo Foundation.
Some of the money will also go to business development, such as building websites and delivery apps.
“A lot of Hispanic and black businesses may not be represented on these platforms,” Glin said.
Claudy’s Kitchen bought a machine to speed up production of their award-winning empanadas.
The program will continue to provide grants and support to businesses over the next five years. To be eligible, Hispanic-owned businesses must be under three years old and generate less than $ 1 million in revenue.
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Elise Preston contributed to this report.