NEW YORK -- The PepsiCo Foundation and Seedco, a New York based non-profit organization, pledged $1.5 million each to launch the Lower Manhattan Small Grocer Initiative on April 15. The funds will be used to help food business hurt by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"The really small businesses -- microbusinesses -- downtown have been particularly hard hit," said William Grinker, Seedco president. "The candy stands, pizza parlors and corner delis are part of what makes New York New York, and we want to do all we can to help them not only survive but thrive."
Those able to receive assistance are food businesses located on or south of Houston Street, an area known to locals as SoHo. Seedco will work with community groups and trade organizations to offer grants and loans to food business owners employing 50 or fewer workers, and who can demonstrate an adverse impact on their businesses from the terror attacks.
Businesses eligible for assistance under the initiative include: pizza parlors, convenience stores, newsstands, candy stands, delis, quick-service restaurants, bodegas, corner stores and hot dog stands.
According to a Seedco release, 40 percent of the 2,700-person small-grocer workforce in the SoHo area has been laid off since the terrorist attacks. The Small Grocer Initiative aims to help those businesses maintain existing workers and reemploy laid-off workers.
PepsiCo Foundation is the philanthropic arm of PepsiCo, Inc. It has committed $5 million in assistance to victims of the Sept. 11 disaster.
Seedco is a nonprofit community-development organization working with small businesses and nonprofit groups.