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Press Statement April 25, 2024

NAACP Continues to Support Minority-Owned Businesses in Hospitality through Grants Sponsored by Bacardi

Smiling Restaurant Worker Wearing Apron


April 25, 2024

Contact: Alicia Mercedes,

WASHINGTON — Today, the NAACP announces the next iteration of the Backing the B.A.R. (Business Accounts & Retailers) Acceleration Grant Program sponsored by Bacardi U.S.A. offering $100,000 in grants to the industry. First launched to increase support of Black-owned bars, restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, liquor stores, and small businesses in the process of applying for a liquor license, the program aims to support the underrepresented in the hospitality industry. The program has evolved to expand its support to providing grants to a broader range of underrepresented minorities as a show of continued commitment to the industry.

Backing the B.A.R. will provide critical support to 10 businesses from  underrepresented minorities in the hospitality sectors, with $10,000 grants along with access to valuable resources such as mentorship, tools, and networks.

"The NAACP is excited to open the third round of the Backing the B.A.R. program" said Yumeka Rushing, NAACP Chief Strategy Officer. "By investing in diverse businesses, we not only drive economic growth but also foster a more inclusive and equitable business landscape."

The grant application will remain open for six weeks and is available to any underrepresented minority business owners who possess or are currently seeking a liquor license. Ideal grant recipients include those who are looking for support in accelerating their business for the future. The Backing the B.A.R. initiative will award more than$100,000 in acceleration grants, education, support, and entrepreneurship solutions for minority-owned bars, restaurants, nightclubs, lounges, liquor stores, and small businesses who need financial, educational, or mentorship support.

"Love for our brands is built in bars and restaurants and we are firmly committed to supporting the industry and the spaces that bring people together in moments that matter," said Tony Latham, Regional President, Bacardi North America. "Through the Backing the B.A.R. program, Bacardi and the NAACP are committed to empowering underrepresented entrepreneurs and creating more opportunities for them to succeed in the industry."


The program is designed to fuel the growth and resilience of minority-owned businesses, driving economic empowerment and creating lasting impact within the industry. Both the NAACP and Bacardi share a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging within the hospitality industry. Through this grant, we are creating opportunities for under-represented entrepreneurs to thrive and contribute to vibrant, resilient communities.

For more information about the Backing the B.A.R. Acceleration Grant program, please visit our website.



The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving communities.

NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund - also referred to as the NAACP-LDF - was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but now operates as a completely separate entity.

About Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.

Bacardi U.S.A. Inc. is the United States import and distribution arm of family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDÍ rum, PATRÓN® tequila, GREY GOOSE® vodka, DEWAR'S® Blended Scotch Whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, the world's leading vermouth and the world's favorite Italian sparkling wines, and other leading and emerging brands. Founded more than 161 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, family-owned Bacardi Limited currently employs approximately 9,000, operates production facilities in 11 countries and territories, and sells its brands in more than 160 markets. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. Visit or follow us on LinkedIn or Instagram.