PepsiCo Commits More Than $1,000,000 to Asian American Community Amid Pandemic Setbacks and Increased Race-Based Attacks

Asian Americans have the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group, 3.5 times faster than the overall U.S. population.1 Furthermore, Asian-American businesses – from retail to restaurants and everything in between – play a vital role in our communities and the economy. Nearly two million Asian-owned small businesses generate $700 billion annually and employ 3.5 million people.2 Because COVID-19 fueled a challenging business and social climate that hit the community hard, PepsiCo and its partners are providing resources to help businesses recover and increase advocacy.

“Our communities are stronger when we all stand together, and we recognize the Asian community has faced painful circumstances over the past year,” said Jon Banner, executive vice president, PepsiCo Global Communications and president, PepsiCo Foundation. “Our goal is to uplift the community while providing access to the tools and support Asian-owned businesses are seeking.” 

Providing expert technical and marketing assistance through “Project Rebuild”

The number of working Asian business owners dropped 20% from February to December 2020.3 In response, the AABDC launched Project Rebuild, an initiative that connects small businesses with corporations and their employee resource groups, which volunteer their professional expertise.

The PepsiCo Foundation provided a $250,000 grant to Project Rebuild to provide resources and training that address top challenges identified by AABDC beneficiaries: access to capital, marketing, and strategic partnerships. For example, to help Asian-owned businesses increase marketing exposure, Project Rebuild created a social media campaign that promotes small businesses nationally.

“Corporate initiatives are a critical part of long-term, collective solutions needed to help small businesses in minority communities,” said John Wang, AABDC president. “We need support from more global leaders like PepsiCo that can be part of the solution and recognize there are still many unmet needs in the Asian business community, which go beyond providing money.”

AABDC has signed up more than 400 small businesses to participate in Project Rebuild. Businesses that want to learn more can visit the AABDC website.

Helping Asian-owned restaurants prepare for an impending hospitality boom

Experts are predicting a “restaurant renaissance” in late 2021. As the industry revives, Asian-owned businesses are an important part of the mix. Nearly 26% of businesses in the food and accommodation services are Asian-owned.4

To assist recovery, PepsiCo is investing more than $300,000 with the NRAEF and the Association to help Asian-owned restaurants. Restaurateurs can learn more about these initiatives, and other ways the NRAEF and Association can support their businesses, by submitting information here. This current effort will be two-fold to support long-term revitalization:

  • PepsiCo will cover the cost of a suite of training and certification resources that address pressing needs including food safety and career development. Unconscious bias, conflict de-escalation, COVID-19 precautions, and career enhancement are a few of the topics restaurants owners will be able to access based on their individual needs.
  • PepsiCo also will contribute funding to NRAEF to provide financial assistance that will support Asian-owned restaurants and their workforce. Details will be available in the coming months.

“PepsiCo is a longstanding partner of the NRAEF, collaborating to help restaurant owners and workers access the education and training needed to thrive in our dynamic industry,” said Rob Gifford, NRAEF president. “As restaurant owners get back on their feet, we’re happy to provide support and expertise to set businesses up for sustained future growth.”

This coalition of PepsiCo, AABDC, NRAEF and Association also are encouraging consumers to show support for Asian-owned restaurants by frequenting them and sharing on social media with #AsianFood and #SupportAsianBusinesses.

Increasing advocacy and celebrating the many voices of the AAPI community

In addition to supporting businesses, PepsiCo remains committed to increasing advocacy and celebrating the many contributions of the AAPI community. To that end, Frito-Lay North America, the convenient foods division of PepsiCo, is donating $500,000 to TAAF, which serves the AAPI community in its pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence. The Frito-Lay investment will help TAAF continue to build the infrastructure to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation.

Additionally, Frito-Lay is sponsoring ViacomCBS’s “See Us Unite for Change” global special, which is part of the See Us Unite cultural campaign, a multi-platform effort led by TAAF and its coalition of partners. The special weaves together speakers, music performances, comedy and monologues that will unite, inspire and help drive awareness of the AAPI experience. MTV Entertainment brands, as well as BET and Nickelodeon, and Facebook Watch will exclusively stream the special on Friday, May 21 at 8 PM ET.

About PepsiCo
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

About The PepsiCo Foundation  
Established in 1962, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, invests in the essential elements of a sustainable food system with a mission to support thriving communities. Working with non-profits and experts around the globe, we’re focused on helping alleviate hunger, managing water and waste responsibly and supporting women as champions of nutrition from farm to family. We strive for tangible impact in the places where we live and work—collaborating with industry peers, local and international organizations, and our employees to affect large-scale change on the issues that matter to us and are of global importance. Learn more at www.pepsico.com/sustainability/philanthropy.

About The Asian American Business Development Center
The Asian American Business Development Center, Inc. is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization established in 1994. It assists Asian American businesses in strengthening their capacity to compete in the mainstream market, to expand business opportunities, and to promote recognition of Asian American businesses’ contributions to the general economy.
AABDC: www.aabdc.com

About The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF)
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce.

NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community-based organizations to provide opportunity youth and justice-involved individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry.  To learn more about the NRAEF and its work, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.

About The National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry’s largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

About The Asian American Foundation (TAAF)
The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a convener, incubator, and funder committed to accelerating opportunity and prosperity for AAPI communities. TAAF supports advocates and organizations committed to AAPI causes so that together we can more effectively take action against hate and violence, and build the infrastructure needed to improve AAPI advocacy, power, and representation across American society. We were founded to solve for the longstanding lack of investment and resources provided to AAPI communities and we strive to be a catalyzing force for creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for the 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders living in the United States. Upon our founding, TAAF’s Board raised $125 million to support AAPI organizations and causes over the next five years — the largest philanthropic commitment in history made by Asian Americans fully focused on supporting AAPI communities. For additional information about TAAF, please visit www.taaf.org.

Media contact:
Gina Judge
[email protected]

1Pew Research: Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/04/09/asian-americans-are-the-fastest-growing-racial-or-ethnic-group-in-the-u-s/

2McKinsey & Company: COVID-19 and advancing Asian American recovery https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-advancing-asian-american-recovery

3University of California, Santa Cruz: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/03/03/asian-owned-small-businesses-saw-an-outsized-pandemic-impact-last-year-.html

4McKinsey: COVID-19 and advancing Asian American recovery https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-advancing-asian-american-recovery

SOURCE PepsiCo, Inc.

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