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Comcast RISE donates $21 million to small businesses impacted by COVID-19

There are already more than 9,500 small business owners who have received grant support from this program.

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The global media and technology company's investment fund, a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October 2020 to support small businesses, recently announced a new round of donations providing an additional $5 million to address the needs of hundreds of small businesses owned by women, people of color, Blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans.

The total amount of $21 million committed by the Comcast RISE Investment Fund will be distributed among businesses in Chicago, Miami, Oakland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., which will be able to apply for a $10,000 grant between October 3 and 16, 2022. 

In November 2022 the recipients of the 500 grants will be announced.

Important Alliances

Through its strategy of investing in ongoing mentoring and resources for long-term business success, Comcast RISE has partnered with Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to provide owners with business guidance that will enable them to acquire skills in business creation, customer growth, and financial stability.

All users of the program will have a specialized online community within Ureeka, with access to educational resources, sources of capital, and vetted experts like U.S. Black Chambers, National Asian Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Walker's Legacy, and Operation Hope.

Recipients to Date

Teresa Ward-Maupin, Senior Vice President and Digital and Customer Experience at Comcast Business, stated:

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.

Since its creation, the program has helped more than 9,500 winners, either with economic resources or through additional subsidies materialized in television campaigns, production of a commercial or through Effectv consulting services or computer equipment, Internet, voice or cyber security from Comcast Business, as well as access to Ureeka's training platform. By the end of 2022, the fund is expected to have supported more than 13,000 small entrepreneurs.

During the first round, which was announced in April 2021, Comcast RISE Investment Fund awarded $5 million in grants to 500 small businesses owned by people of color in 5 cities: Philadelphia/Chester, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. In the second round, which was announced in September 2021, the Fund provided $6 million in grants to 600 small businesses in 6 cities: Miami, Houston, Oakland, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. In the third round, it awarded an additional $5 million in grants to 500 small businesses owned by people of color and women in five cities: Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Twin Cities.

“Comcast RISE and the Comcast RISE Investment Fund offer the opportunity for small businesses owned by people of color and women to help grow their businesses, create jobs, and play a vital role in supporting our communities. This new round of Comcast RISE Investment Fund grants will provide more entrepreneurs with the resources and tools they need to scale their businesses and thrive for years to come,” added Ward-Maupin.

Eligible Businesses

The fund, which focuses on small businesses that have been in business for three years or more with between 1 and 25 employees, said that for the current round businesses must be located in the following areas:

  • Chicago, IL (Cook County)
  • Miami, FL (Miami-Dade and Broward Counties)
  • Oakland, CA (City of Oakland)
  • Seattle, WA (King and Pierce Counties)
  • Washington, DC (Districts 1-8)

Marketing and Technology Grants

RISE, which stands for "Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” also offers the community opportunities to request specific support in one or more of the following approaches:

Marketing Services Grant: The following services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and its creative agency, Mnemonic, are designed to assist recipients with their marketing and media campaigns, including:

  • Media: A linear TV media campaign that will run for a period of 90 days.
  • Creative Production: Production of 30 commercials, plus a media strategy consultation and a 90-day media placement schedule.
  • Consult: Digital audits by Ureeka, in the form of website repair, reports and SEO keyword reports to guide website mechanics and effective organic marketing.

Technology Makeover Grants: Comcast Business' latest technology and equipment upgrade includes computer equipment as well as internet, voice and cyber security services for up to 12 months.

Comcast RISE is part of Project UP, the company's comprehensive initiative to promote digital equity and help build a future of limitless possibility.

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