According to Nielsen, the Black community is significantly underrepresented in the ownership portion of the United States’ On-premise retail industry (bars and restaurants) at only seven (7) percent. Bacardi U.S.A. and the NAACP want to change that. The NAACP will be awarding Bacardi-sponsored grants to Black-owned businesses in the beverage alcohol service, sales, and hospitality industries as part of the Backing the B.A.R. (Black-Owned Accounts and Retailers) initiative, which has committed more than $350,000 in support to this initiative. Following an application and review process, 35 grantees nationwide were selected to received $10,000 each to support future growth of their businesses.
Backing the B.A.R., presented by the NAACP and sponsored by family-owned Bacardi, provides business acceleration grants, education, support, and entrepreneurship solutions for Black-owned bars, restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, liquor stores, and small businesses in the process of applying for a liquor license.
“As a leader in the spirits world, we at Bacardi have a responsibility to help drive change and support underrepresented groups in our industry,” says Tyler Phillips, Director of Culture and Partnerships at Bacardi North America. “We are proud to support NAACPs Backing the B.A.R. initiative that takes a first step at providing equitable solutions for the Black entrepreneurial community in their endeavor to grow their businesses and have a presence in their communities.”
“The NAACP is proud to partner with Bacardi to support these businesses and the communities they serve,” said Yumeka Rushing, Chief Strategy Officer, NAACP. “Supporting Black-owned businesses that are vital to neighborhoods throughout this nation remains a priority for the Association. Having partners like Bacardi that align with our goals of making a tremendous impact in our communities truly expands our scope. We look forward to the impact and change the grants provide for our small businesses.”