Comcast today announced it will award technology, and, or marketing resources to 69 Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses statewide as a part of the company’s latest round of grants from its Comcast RISE program. These recipients are part of roughly 2,500 entrepreneurs nationwide who have been selected as awardees since the program’s inception in November, including approximately 100 in Washington state.
According to a National Bureau of Economic Research study, the number of Black business owners plummeted last year from 1.1 million to 640,000 in four months — a 41% loss. Other communities of color also experienced deep losses, including immigrant (a 36 percent drop), Latinx (32 percent), and Asian (26 percent) business owners.
Comcast RISE was formed in 2020 to give BIPOC-owned small businesses the tools needed to not just survive, but thrive. The program provides grants to Black and BIPOC-owned small businesses nationwide, which includes Hispanic and Asian American-owned businesses, among others. Comcast also announced a goal to support 13,000 small businesses by 2022 through the program with a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv; or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business; or a monetary grant.
“Our small businesses are incredibly resilient, and have adapted to constant change over the past year. Seattle is a technology hub, however, we quickly realized that some small businesses—many of which are owned by Black, Indigenous and other people of color—did not have the same level of technological infrastructure that other businesses had when it was time to quickly pivot to an online based business model” said Pamela Banks, Interim Director of the Seattle Office of Economic Development, and Director of Recovery and Equitable Investments. “Comcast has been a critical partner for OED, as we have worked together to respond to the digital divide that is impacting our small businesses owned by people of color, immigrants, and refugees. These grants will be a game changer, as we move forward in a world so heavily reliant on technology and marketing capabilities.”
Through Comcast RISE, the company creates sustainable impact and meaningful support for communities that have been hit hardest by the global pandemic and the BIPOC-owned small businesses that shape them. More BIPOC-owned small businesses throughout Washington are encouraged to apply now and take advantage of this opportunity Eligible businesses can apply directly online at www.comcastrise.com/apply/.
Eligible businesses can apply for the following:
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-second TV commercial production, plus a media strategy consultation and a 90-day linear TV media campaign.
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 tech makeover services.)
Monetary Grants: The Comcast RISE Investment Fund will provide $5 million in grants to 500 BIPOC-owned small businesses in five cities: Philadelphia/Chester, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Comcast plans to expand that monetary support to other cities across the country over the next year.
“Congratulations to all of the grant recipients across our state today. Comcast Business is dedicated to lifting up businesses and providing a human touch that offers them the support they need, and we are truly proud to be able to support these owners through Comcast RISE,” said Robert Brenner, VP of Comcast Business in Washington. “We have now been able to offer 100 grants to businesses across our state since we launched this program in November, and we’ve seen firsthand how marketing and technology resources can have a true impact on owners and help them bounce forward into 2021.”
Quotes from Comcast RISE Winners Across the Puget Sound Region
“It was a pleasant surprise to be chosen as one of the first Comcast RISE winners in Washington! Comcast gave Your Money Matters Mentoring technology and equipment that will be a tremendous help for our organization. Being a nonprofit mentorship program for youth this support helped us tremendously as we have had to go digital to continue to provide our financial training programs. The work we do in the community is about empowering youth, particularly young people from communities of color, by helping them understand how to set themselves up for a better financial future. Change can’t come for our underserved youth and for minority-owned businesses without people and organizations in our community coming together to support one another. It is great to see a big public company like Comcast helping in this effort, and we are grateful for their support.” – Clinton Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Your Money Matter Mentoring in Auburn
“When COVID-19 hit, I found myself starting over. I made the tough decision to close a consulting business I had led for 20 years. But challenges like this bring new beginnings, and I set out to create a new business over the last year that combines my Latinx roots and my passion for creating something that our community loves. I'm honored to share Komadre Kombucha with friends and neighbors in Tacoma. It has been a fantastic journey, and community partnerships and support from organizations like Comcast have helped turn this dream into a reality. We are excited to open our doors this year, and I know that the technology resources from Comcast will help us serve the community con sabor (with flavor).” – Julie Davidson, Owner-Operator of Komadre Kombucha in Tacoma
“As a Black-owned business, we are honored to be selected by Comcast to receive this award. We plan to use this award to continue providing world-class service at our client-focused firm.” –KD Hall, the CEO and Principal Consultant at KD Hall Communications in Federal Way.
“COVID continues to make it difficult for our staff to meet with each other and clients in-person, so technology is essential to help us get work our done and keep everyone collaborating from afar. “We greatly value our clients and the technology makeover from the Comcast Rise program will help us be able to communicate with them and each other better than ever. And that’s good for business.” – Janelle Bailey, owner of Washington Injury Law in Seattle.
"Blessings is so grateful to be a recipient of the Comcast Business Grant! This grant provided exactly what Blessings needed and just in the nick of time!" – Delphia Brewton, Blessings From My Heart to your Table in Tukwila
Comcast RISE also invests in ongoing mentorship and resources to help businesses succeed over the long-term. The program has partnered with Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to provide grant recipients with business coaching to help build skills in company foundation, growing customers and financial stability. All Comcast RISE recipients will also have a specialized online networking community within Ureeka with access to educational resources, sources of capital, and vetted experts such as U.S. Black Chambers, National Asian Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Walker’s Legacy and Operation Hope.
A key part of Comcast RISE is ensuring business sustainability. As such, Comcast has already invested more than $2 million in more than 20 community-based organizations and diverse chambers of commerce to provide additional support to BIPOC-owned small businesses.
About Comcast Business
About Comcast Business Comcast Business offers Ethernet, Internet, Wi-Fi, Voice, TV and Managed Enterprise Solutions to help organizations of all sizes transform their business. Powered by an advanced network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is one of the largest contributors to the growth of Comcast Cable. Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and has emerged as a force in the Enterprise market; recognized over the last two years by leading industry associations as one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, call 866- 429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social.
Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps local, regional and national advertisers use the best of digital with the power of TV to grow their business. It provides multi-screen marketing solutions to make advertising campaigns more effective and easier to execute. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Effectv has a presence in 66 markets with nearly 30 million households with video service. For more information, visit www.effectv.com.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.