Today we unveiled the next round of Comcast RISE grant recipients here in Washington state. We are pleased to provide 69 more Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses statewide with technology, marketing and advertising resources as a part of our company’s latest round of grants from the program. These recipients are part of nearly 2,500 small business owners nationwide who have been selected as awardees since its inception in November, including approximately 100 in Washington state. The program is also accepting applications for future grant recipients and we will be announcing more grantees throughout the year!
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 minority communities 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.
One key local partner in Western Washington that has helped us grow awareness around Comcast RISE is the Seattle Office of Economic Development. This office has been helping to lead the charge in providing resources and support to business owners of color across the region, and growing awareness of support programs like Comcast RISE.
“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.”
Soundbites from Local Winners
“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
Applications Open for the Next Round!
Are you or is someone you know a BIPOC business owner in need of assistance? We are currently accepting more applicants for our next rounds of grants we are giving out throughout the rest of this year and into 2022. Apply Today at https://www.comcastrise.com/