Black Dollar Magazine


For Black entrepreneurs, creatives, decision-makers and executives

Sign up for FREE BDM newsletter

The F&B Report: Black initiatives launched during #BHM2023 to support U.S. restaurant owners

The Black Restaurant Fund will provide capital to Black-owned restaurants that generate revenues ranging from $250,000 to $3 million. Meanwhile, the NBA is highlighting 300 Black eateries during Black History Month.

The F&B Report: Black initiatives launched during #BHM2023 to support U.S. restaurant owners

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has partnered with Uber Eats to offer a flexible loan repayment program for Black restaurant owners.

The Black Restaurant Fund will provide capital to Black-owned restaurants that generate revenues ranging from $250,000 to $3 million. The fund is expected to boost 35 businesses over the next three years, according to a statement Feb. 7.

“This program is making an investment in a healthy, equitable future for Black restaurant owners and their employees, as well as the communities where they operate,” George Ashton, managing director of LISC Strategic Investments, which is overseeing the initiative, said in a statement.

“We take a different approach to underwriting than many investors do because we can look beyond traditional metrics to consider the real-world potential of these enterprises,” he explained. “It means we can build collaborations and investment products that support their plans for sustainable growth — like this new program with Uber — while at the same time helping owners build a financial track record that can help open doors to conventional investors in the future.”

The Black Restaurant Fund was announced at a recent Uber and Eat Okra's Black Business Resource launch party in Atlanta. The creators of the fund say the loans will only require repayment after owners achieve targeted revenue growth.

“Black-owned restaurants have historically been locked out of economic opportunity, which limits their ability to grow and thrive,” Julia Paige, Uber's director of social impact, said in a statement. “Uber and LISC created the Black Restaurant Fund to help close the resource gap by connecting Black food entrepreneurs to flexible capital to fuel growth and expansion while seeding wealth creation in Black communities.”

Even in the restaurant sector, where the industry has a higher rate of ownership than in others, minority-owned businesses are more likely to have been denied credit, less likely to receive it, and more likely to be discouraged from applying, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

According to the fund's creators, the fund is a way to respond to this.

This is not the first partnership between the LISC and Uber Eats. The food delivery app company has provided financial and technical assistance to more than 1,000 restaurants — mostly minority-owned entities — through separate programs over the last few years.

Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000 affordable homes and apartments and has developed 78.5 million square feet of retail, community, and educational space, a statement reads.


National Basketball Association recognizing 300 Black eateries for #BHM2023

The NBA has announced its spotlighting 10 Black-owned restaurants in each city with a professional team to boost businesses for African American owners, according to a statement Feb. 10.

One of the restaurants garnering attention is Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington D.C.

“The support for Black-owned restaurants is needed immensely,” owner Virginia Ali said in a statement. “Support your Black restaurants; we have to support (them).”

Since it first opened in the nation's capital in 1958, the legendary eatery has served notable figures like civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King Jr. and former President Barack Obama.

The NBA says that multiple studies have shown the disproportionate rate at which Black-owned businesses have experienced losses due to the pandemic. “Supporting Black-owned businesses can help reverse such losses, address the racial wealth gap, strengthen local economies and cultivate careers,” a statement reads.

Check out the list of businesses below. You can also see the first edition of the F&B report here.