Pepsico and the National Urban League are teaming up to provide financial support to 500 Black-owned restaurants, reports Afro Tech. The global food and beverage (F&B) leader has formed a partnership with the NUL to launch their Black Restaurant Accelerator Program, which has pledged to give 500 Black restaurant owners in 12 U.S. cities a total of $10 million over the next five years. Both entities’ support comes about following a tumultuous year for small Black-owned businesses that were impacted by the pandemic.

“As the pandemic exposed existing disparities many minority business owners face, we saw a fundamental threat that could erase the decades of progress Black-owned restaurants have made,” C.D. Glin — vice president, global head of philanthropy at the PepsiCo Foundation. “This investment will help Black restaurateurs not only recover from the pandemic but set them on a path to long-term economic resilience. We are inspired by the progress we are making through our collaboration with the National Urban League to address a fundamental gap and create opportunities for Black-business owners to build generational wealth and continue to strengthen their communities.”

The joint partnership comes as part of PepsiCo’s $400 million commitment to empower Black communities which was announced last June. The purpose of the Black Restaurant Accelerator Program is to better acknowledge the contributions of Black-owned restaurants in American culture and preserve them as vital institutions.

“Black businesses and consumers are among the key contributors to the economic strength of our nation, and they deserve equal recognition and support for the vital role they play in our communities,” NUL president and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “We are proud to partner with the PepsiCo Foundation on a matter of crucial importance that helps business owners and addresses one of the critical economic disparities impacting Black communities.”