Comcast announced recently a second round of cities to receive grants from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, providing $6 million additional dollars to hundreds of small businesses owned by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian American owners, among others, bringing the total to $11 million in grants awarded as part of the Comcast RISE Investment Fund initiative.
Beginning on October 1, and through October 14, eligible businesses in Houston, Miami, Oakland, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. can apply for a $10,000 grant at www.ComcastRISE.com. A total of 100 grants per city, or 600 grants overall, will be awarded in November 2021. The Investment Fund is an extension of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October 2020 to support small businesses owned by people of color and provide the resources and tools they need today and in the future.
Comcast RISE Recipients to Date
Comcast also announced its fourth round of Comcast RISE recipients, which includes 1,100 small businesses owned by people of color, that will receive a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business, as well as access to Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs with a specialized online networking community with educational resources, sources of capital, and vetted experts. To date, nearly 4,700 Comcast RISE awardees have been announced and the program will have supported 13,000 small businesses by the end of 2022.
“While we know that no single organization can solve historic and systemic inequities overnight, we are committed to taking tangible actions that can drive long-term impact and change,” said Teresa Ward-Maupin, Senior Vice President, Digital and Customer Experience, Comcast Business. “Comcast RISE and the Comcast RISE Investment Fund offer the opportunity for small businesses owned by people of color to help grow their businesses, create jobs, and play a vital role in supporting our communities. This new round of Comcast RISE grants will provide more entrepreneurs of color with the resources and tools they need to scale their businesses and thrive for years to come.”
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is focused on small businesses that have been in business for three or more years with 1-25 employees. Businesses must be in the following geographic locations to be eligible: Miami, FL (Miami-Dade and Broward Counties); Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties); Oakland, CA (City of Oakland);
Seattle, WA (King and Pierce Counties); and Washington, D.C. (Wards 1-8).
To help drive awareness about the program and provide additional support, training, and mentorship, Comcast has also awarded support to Operation Hope, Ureeka, U.S. Black Chambers, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, National Asian American Chamber of Commerce, National CAPACD, Native Women Lead, National Congress of American Indians, Walker’s Legacy, Women Impacting Public Policy, Blavity.org, and nearly 40 community-based organizations in Houston, Miami, Oakland, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C.
“Ureeka is proud of the commitment that Comcast is making to entrepreneurs of color, and we are humbled to be a part of this program,” said, Melissa Bradley, Co-Founder, Ureeka. “We know there are stark racial disparities in access to capital and resources for entrepreneurs of color – in fact, studies show that business owners of color are twice as likely as all business owners to report ‘lack of access to business loans/credit’ as a reason for closure. This program helps bridge the gap between survival and failure in the midst of a pandemic which continues to further exaggerate systemic injustices. The additional coaching and community connections that these businesses receive, in addition to monetary funding or services, will help these businesses gain valuable skills and opportunities that will help them move from survive to thrive.”
Comcast RISE Marketing and Technology Services
In addition to the Investment Fund, Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” provides the opportunity for small businesses owned by people of color nationwide to apply for one or more of the following support focus areas with the opportunity to receive one.
- Marketing Services: The following services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and its creative agency, Mnemonic, are designed to help recipients with their marketing and media campaigns, including:
- Media: A linear TV media campaign to run over a 90-day period.
- Creative Production: Turnkey :30 TV commercial production, plus a media strategy consultation and 90-day media placement schedule.
- Consulting: Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research, and creative teams to gain insights on how to drive business.
- Technology Makeovers: The state-of-the-art equipment and technology upgrade from Comcast Business includes computer equipment as well as Internet, Voice, and Cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for technology makeover services.)
- Monetary Grants: In round one, which was announced in April of 2021, the Comcast RISE Investment Fund provided $5 million in grants to 500 small businesses owned by people of color in five cities: Philadelphia/Chester, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, and Detroit. As noted above, the Comcast RISE Investment Fund will provide an additional $6 million in grants to 600 small businesses owned by people of color in six cities: Miami, Houston, Oakland, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C.
All eligible applicants will receive a monthly Comcast RISE newsletter with educational content, and all small business owners can visit the Comcast RISE destination on the X1 platform featuring aggregated small business news, tips, insights, and more. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.
Comcast’s Ongoing Commitment to Advancing Digital Equity
Comcast RISE is part of Comcast’s ongoing efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion to programs and partnerships that will reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. More information and the applications to apply for either the grant program or marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.