Small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and right now, more than ever, small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are hurting.
According to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of U.S. active business owners dropped from 15 million to 11.7 million between February and April. The study cited that Black-owned small businesses were hardest hit, suffering the steepest decline (41 percent), followed by Hispanic and Asian American-owned small businesses.
That’s why Comcast has announced RISE, an initiative created to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by COVID-19 and social unrest. RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is designed to help thousands of small businesses owned by underrepresented groups across the nation over the next three years, by offering offer grants, media and marketing assistance, and technology upgrades.
“Comcast RISE gives our local small businesses access to tools to help them survive the pandemic and thrive in the future. The small business community in our state is truly unique and resilient, and we are happy to play a role in helping during these stressful times so these businesses can return stronger than ever,” said Robert Brenner, Vice President of Comcast Business in Washington. “We are pleased to provide this first wave of businesses with support and open RISE to the entire BIPOC community statewide to continue this positive momentum.”
Comcast RISE grant applications are eligible to all local Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses. They can apply at www.ComcastRISE.com The program offers the following main components to local businesses:
- A media and technology resources program: This pillar combines Effectv’s renowned media platform and marketing expertise, its award-winning creative agency, Mnemonic, and state-of-the-art technical support from Comcast Business to help small businesses foster and elevate growth. Recipients will receive help with their marketing, media campaigns and creation of 30-second commercials, as well as website and tech upgrades, including:
- Consulting:Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research and creative teams to gain insights on how to grow your business.
- Media:A linear TV media campaign to run over a 90-day period.
- Creative Production:Turnkey :30 TV commercial production for their businesses.
- Technology Makeovers:Computer equipment and Internet, voice and cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period to support business recovery while implementing other Comcast small business initiatives. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
- Business resources to help with curated content: Comcast will create a business learning destination pageon the X1 platform. This will include programming content about small businesses, tutorials and educational content intended to help businesses grow.
- Grants: Comcast will be awarding grants of up to $10,000 each for small and diverse businesses that have been in operations for three to five years, in select cities. Comcast RISE is part of a larger $100 million Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative that Comcast launched this summer. In June, Comcast NBCUniversal announced the development of a comprehensive, multiyear plan to allocate $75 million in cash and $25 million in media over the next three years to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability.
In the future, the program aims to expand to other small and diverse business owners. Visit http://www.ComcastRISE.com to apply.