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Businesses are still struggling to recover financially from the pandemic. Photo: Pixabay.

Comcast RISE supports 13,000 small businesses impacted by COVID-19

The program, created in 2020, managed to reach the projected figure before it comes to an end in December 2022.

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Created to help strengthen and empower small businesses owned by people of color and women affected by COVID-19, the two-year initiative was successful in distributing more than $110 million in monetary, marketing, and technology grants.

Comcast RISE, one of several programs the media company has launched as part of Project UP, which seeks to bridge the digital divide and achieve digital equity, is expected to open a new chapter in 2023 to deepen efforts that empower diversity, inclusion and community investment.

Teresa Ward-Maupin, senior vice president of Digital and Customer Experience at Comcast Business, stated:

We are incredibly proud of the work that the Comcast RISE team has done over its two-year term to help the small businesses we’ve worked with to not only survive, but also to thrive.

Final round

The latest group of program beneficiaries included more than 2,800 small businesses that received a television advertising campaign, consulting services from Effectv, or computer equipment, Internet, voice, and cybersecurity from Comcast Business.

In addition, 500 more small businesses in Chicago, Miami, Oakland, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. will each receive $10,000 in grants, bringing the total recipients of Comcast's RISE Investment Fund to 2,100 and the total dollar amount distributed to $21 million.

“Comcast will be continuing its efforts to positively impact small businesses in 2023. We have seen that many small businesses are shifting from pandemic recovery to long-term growth, so it is only natural for the program to evolve. The next evolution of the program will focus on helping businesses of all types accelerate growth. Its offerings will include complimentary marketing, technology, financial grants, business consulting, entrepreneurship training, and other services,” added Ward-Maupin.

Interactive map

In partnership with Hopeworks, a Philadelphia-area technology education and training nonprofit, and to encourage consumers to patronize participating businesses, Comcast launched an interactive map of recipients served by the initiative has supported across the country.

“Comcast RISE has helped me and my business thrive in so many ways. I received the $10,000 grant though the Investment Fund, which provided us with cash to use wherever our needs were. This grant allowed me to maintain payroll and supported my evolving business endeavors, such as the expansion of my mannequin business, which now offers a virtual and in-person headpiece workshop,” noted Judi Townsend, owner and CEO of Mannequin Madness in Oakland, CA.

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