YORK, Feb. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The Local
Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Uber Eats
[NYSE:UBER] are teaming up to launch a new investment program
that will provide growth capital to Black restaurant owners and
help break down some of the systemic financial barriers that often
limit their opportunities.
The Black Restaurant Fund, announced at Uber and Eat Okra's
Black Business Resource Launch Party in Atlanta, will provide financing with a unique
twist: unlike traditional loan products, the investments do not
have fixed repayment terms. Instead, they are patient, flexible
investments that 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," said Julia Paige, Uber's
director of social impact. "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."
According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant
industry has a higher rate of minority business ownership than the
overall private sector in every state. But, at the same time,
minority-owned businesses are more likely to have been denied
credit, less likely to receive the full credit amount requested,
and more likely to be discouraged from applying for
credit, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
As a result, they tend to grow more slowly, generate lower
profits, hire fewer employees, and create less wealth than
otherwise might be the case.
The Black Restaurant Fund, which will be administered by LISC,
directly addresses this capital gap by focusing on restaurants in
economically disadvantaged communities that have employees, are
partners of Uber Eats, and generate revenues from $250,000 to $3
million—meaning they are in a position to effectively deploy growth
capital. LISC and Uber expect the initiative will help fuel 35
businesses over the next three years.
"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," said George Ashton, managing director of LISC
Strategic Investments, which is overseeing the initiative.
"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."
Uber has been a valuable LISC partner in recent years,
collaborating on programs that provided vital financial and
technical assistance to more than 1,000 restaurants during the
pandemic—mostly owned by entrepreneurs of color. Uber also worked
with LISC to advance health aims in underserved communities,
ensuring residents had better access to accurate medical
information and vaccines.
For more information on the Black Restaurant Fund or to request
a conversation about your restaurant, visit
LISC is one of the country's largest
community development organizations, helping forge vibrant,
resilient communities across America. We work with residents and
partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity
and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive.
Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $26.7 billion to create more than 463,000
affordable homes and apartments, develop 78.5 million square feet
of retail, community and educational space and help tens of
thousands of people find employment and improve their finances. For
more, visit www.lisc.org.
About Uber Eats
Uber Eats is an on-demand app
and website that helps bring millions of people around the world
the things they want, at the tap of a button. We partner with over
870,000 restaurants and merchants in more than 11,000 cities across
six continents. From specialty local favorites to national brand
names, groceries to household essentials and more, Uber
Eats has what you want when you want it.
SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)