Comcast RISE program lends a hand to more than 700 Black-owned SMBs

Comcast
As part of its diversity efforts, Comcast's RISE program is providing more than 700-Black owned businesses with technology upgrades and consulting, media and creative services. (Comcast)

Comcast announced that its Comcast RISE program is providing more than 700 Black-owned businesses support including technology upgrades from Comcast Business.

Comcast announced the first-round awards for its Comcast RISE program, which can also include consulting, media and creative production services from Effectv, which is the advertising division of Comcast Cable.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been especially tough on small and medium-sized businesses as they closed their doors due to quarantine and shelter-in-place policies. With the coronavirus flaring up across the U.S., some SBMs are struggling to find their footing.

The first phase of Comcast RISE, which stands for “representation, investment, strength and empowerment,” was focused on U.S. Black-owned, small businesses. The Comcast RISE recipients in 285 cities in 29 states included a diverse roster of small business from restaurants and salons, to professional services and retail shops.

On Wednesday, Comcast announced the next phase of Comcast RISE, which is a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October to help strengthen small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. As part of the next step, Comcast RISE eligibility has been opened up to include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses. They can apply at www.ComcastRISE.com.

“We created Comcast RISE to partner with small businesses and give them access to tools to help them survive the pandemic and thrive. As we’ve gone through the selection process, it’s been so powerful to hear these business owners’ stories and see the tangible ways that we can help grow their businesses and impact their communities,” said Comcast Business' Teresa Ward-Maupin, SVP for digital and customer experience, in a statement. “I could not be more pleased to open this program to the entire BIPOC community and continue this positive momentum.”

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Next year, Comcast will be awarding grants of up to $10,000 for U.S.-based small and diverse businesses that have been in operations for three to five years.

Comcast RISE is part of a larger $100 million diversity, equity and inclusion initiative that Comcast launched this past summer.