With many small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, Comcast is offering millions of dollars in grant money to those owned by people of color. Here in Washington state, 100 small businesses in King and Pierce Counties will have the chance to receive a $10,000 grant, which would total $1 million dollars for businesses you know and love!
"Independent small businesses are the backbone of our communities, and today, more than ever, small businesses owned by people of color are hurting," according to the Comcast RISE website. "We know that Comcast alone can't remedy complex, systemic issues. But we are deeply committed to playing a role in driving change."
Comcast RISE, launched in 2020, champions Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment for small businesses owned by people of color. From Oct. 1 to Oct. 14, eligible businesses can apply for a $10,000 grant at ComcastRISE.com.
"For our first round of grants, we focused on areas identified as some of the hardest hit by COVID-19 and the resulting local commerce decline," according to Comcast RISE. "As we were able to expand the program and add additional rounds, we are excited to provide grant support through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund to additional metro areas with large numbers of small businesses owned by people of color."
Comcast RISE is initially focusing on people of color — including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others — because marginalized communities have been the most negatively affected by the pandemic. Additional requirements for small businesses in the eligible cities include that they must have 1 to 25 employees and have been in business for at least three years.
Winners of the grants will be announced in November and awarded in December.
Regardless of where a business is located, owners can also apply for Comcast RISE Marketing & Technology Services every quarter, with this quarter's applications open until Oct. 17. These services include the following:
- Consulting: Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research, and creative teams to gain insights on how to grow a business.
- Media: A linear TV media schedule, over a 90-day period.
- Creative production: Turnkey production of a 30-second TV commercial, plus a media strategy consultation and 90-day media placement schedule.
- Technology makeover: Computer equipment and Internet, Voice and Cybersecurity services for 12 months.
"Applications windows are always open — if you miss the deadline for one window, the next window will immediately be open for accepting applications," according to Comcast RISE. "If you miss the deadline for one window, your accepted application will automatically be considered for the next quarter's application pool."
Comcast RISE has also partnered with Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to provide grant recipients with business coaching to help build skills focusing on company foundation, growing customers, and financial stability.
"Recently, small businesses have been dealing with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, social unrest, and environmental events," according to Comcast RISE. "We have been working proactively to help all our small business customers."
So far, nearly 4,700 entrepreneurs in 422 cities have received either a grant or media and technology services. Grant money has gone toward restaurants, barber shops, professional service establishments, childcare centers, retail shops, and more.
For more information about Comcast RISE or to apply for a grant or for media and technology services, visit ComcastRISE.com. Find Comcast RISE on social media with #ComcastRISE and see stories and examples from small business owners who have received help on the Comcast RISE website and the Comcast Facebook page.