U.S. small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the number of U.S. active business owners dropped from 15 million to 11.7 million from February to 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.
In response, Comcast Corporation launched the Comcast RISE program to help strengthen and empower these Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. Comcast RISE will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years by offering grants, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants.
Eligible small businesses in Bothell and Kenmore can visit ComcastRISE.com now to apply. The application for this wave of services will close February 7, 2021, and subsequent selections will occur on a quarterly basis. In addition, applicants will soon be able to apply for financial grants in early 2021 and the program currently is planned to end on December 31, 2022. More information on eligibility requirements, and the latest updates is also available at ComcastRISE.com.
Comcast launched Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” to help the hardest-hit small business owners recover from the challenges of COVID-19.
Comcast RISE brings together two of the company’s brands — Comcast Business and Effectv, both with expertise in the small business space — to partner with and empower business owners with the tools, expertise and resources needed to navigate the economic effects of the pandemic.
Comcast RISE consists of the following main components:
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 has launched the Comcast RISE destination complete with aggregated small business news, tips, insights and more on the X1 platform. The destination is designed to help businesses grow by empowering them through education, inspiration and entertainment. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.
Grants: Comcast will be awarding grants of up to $10,000 each for U.S.-based small and diverse businesses that have been in operations for three to five years. Grants will soon be available in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia and with plans to expand to additional cities in the future.
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.