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Comcast RISE has announced that its next round of grants will be in partnership with the city of Seattle, awarding 100 small businesses owners who are women or people of color in the Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan area with $10,000 grants each.
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Comcast RISE distributes $1 million in grants to local small businesses

Small businesses have faced one hurdle after another since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders, shutdowns, labor shortages, and inflation have all hampered business success and growth.

Businesses owned by women and people of color have been hit the hardest, with a 41% drop in the number of African American business owners, a 32% drop in Latinx business owners, and a 25% drop in female business owners, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

While these businesses have recently seen a rebound, economic disadvantages remain. In response to this issue, Comcast developed the Comcast RISE program, which has so far distributed $16 million in grants and $75 million in in-kind support to small businesses. Its focus on disadvantaged businesses has led Comcast RISE to name as recipients more than 9,500 women and people of color in 704 cities across 37 states.

"We are committed to supporting small businesses who have been hit the hardest by the economic impact of the pandemic," according to Comcast RISE.

Grants and services provided to businesses have included the following:

  • Monetary grants — $10,000 awards can be used for any business expenses.
  • Consulting services — With advertising and marketing consultations with Effectv marketing, research and creative teams provide insights on how owners can grow their businesses.
  • Media — A linear TV media schedule covers a 90-day period.
  • Creative production — Businesses receive turnkey production of a 30-second TV commercial, a media strategy consultation, and a 90-day media placement schedule
  • Technology upgrades — Businesses receive computer equipment, internet, and voice and cybersecurity services for 12 months.

Comcast RISE distributed its first round of grants in November 2020 and has rolled out another six rounds of funding since then. In July, the program published the names of 1,300 small business owners who would receive consulting and media services and creative production services, and 500 businesses who would receive $10,000 monetary grants.

"Through Comcast RISE we aim to create sustainable impact and give meaningful support to the small businesses who are shaping our communities," according to comcastrise.com.

Comcast RISE has announced that its next round of grants will be in partnership with the city of Seattle, awarding 100 small businesses owners who are women or people of color in the Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan area with $10,000 grants each. Applications can be submitted from Oct. 3-16 at comcastrise.com/apply.

Past Seattle-area grant recipients vary and include restaurants, automotive service shops, beauty and nail salons, barber shops, custom T-shirt companies, bookkeeping and notary services, childcare facilities, dog groomers, and breweries.

To illustrate the differences the program can make, Comcast RISE is developing a series of stories highlighting the impact its grants and resources have made on businesses across the nation. For example, Luella's Southern Kitchen in Chicago faced an uphill battle when restaurants had to close in-person dining to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Businesses struggle anyway to begin with," said Darnell Reed, owner and chef at Luella's Southern Kitchen. "It's a hustle, it's a struggle, it's a day-to-day, it's a fight to survive. We have to figure out some type of way to rebound."

Forced to close one of his restaurants and consolidate his staff, Reed started an online bakery to help his business stay afloat. As a recipient of Comcast RISE services, Reed had the support he needed to keep his business going.

For more information on Comcast RISE or to apply, visit comcastrise.com.

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