Independent small businesses in Washington are the backbone of our communities, and today, more than ever, they need our help. The ongoing impact of the pandemic has created an incredible need for additional support to keep these small businesses open and thriving. This is especially important for those owned by persons of color.
Nationally, the number of active business owners in the United States fell by 22 percent last year. Locally, according to one recent study, Seattle experienced the second largest decline in offline local commerce spending in the country. But a demographic breakdown paints an even bleaker picture.
The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates the number of working Black business owners plummeted over 40% in 2020. Other minority business owners experienced similar worse-than-average losses, including immigrants (a 36 percent drop). Latinx-owned businesses declined by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%.
This is why Comcast recently committed to awarding $10,000 grants through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund to 100 small businesses owned by people of color in King and Pierce Counties, as well as technology and marketing resources to eligible businesses in the area. Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support.
The application period for businesses in King County and Pierce County is open now through October 14, 2021. Visit www.ComcastRISE.com to submit your application for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant. Current program eligibility is focused on businesses owned by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others. You will be eligible to apply for this program in Washington if your business has 25 or less full-time and part-time employees and has been in operation for 3 or more years.
We know that Comcast alone can’t remedy complex, systemic issues. But we are deeply committed to playing a role in driving change. Through Comcast RISE we aim to create sustainable impact and give meaningful support to the small businesses who are shaping our communities.
Please see more information about Comcast RISE grant details and eligibility at: https://www.comcastrise.com/investment-fund/
For questions about completing or submitting your application, please contact a Comcast RISE Representative at ComcastRISEInfo@comcast.com.