WEST PALM BEACH — Comcast invites Black-owned small businesses in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast to apply for its newly launched RISE program. The Comcast RISE Program will help thousands of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the next three years with resources such as grants, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants.
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 this first wave of the program, Black-owned small businesses can apply for marketing and technology support and equipment to jumpstart and sustain business operations. In addition, all small businesses can sign up for free marketing insights and resources. The next wave of the program will open eligibility to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), those next hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic.
RISE stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment” and brings together two of the company’s brands, Comcast Business and Effectv, to empower business owners with the tools, expertise and resources needed to navigate the economic effects of the pandemic.
The program will include:
• 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.
• Business resources to help with curated content: Comcast will create a business learning destination page on the X1 platform that includes programming content about small businesses, tutorials and educational content intended to help businesses grow.
• Grants: In the coming months, 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.
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.
In the future, the program aims to expand to other small and diverse business owners. Visit ComcastRISE.com for more information and eligibility requirements.