Submitted by Nick McDonald, Comcast.
Comcast announced today the next phase of Comcast RISE, the multi-year initiative launched to help strengthen small businesses owned by people of color hit hard by COVID-19. Today’s announcement opens up eligibility to include all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses across Washington state.
The Comcast RISE program will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years. It brings together two of the company’s brands —Comcast Business and Effectv, both with expertise in the small business space — to help empower business owners with the tools, expertise and resources needed to navigate the economic effects of the pandemic.
Launched in October, the first phase of Comcast RISE focused on Black-owned small businesses only, which were hit hardest by pandemic (According to a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research). Today’s announcement opens the program to all business owners in the BIPOC community in Washington state to apply for grants and other forms of assistance.
Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is designed to help the hardest hit small business owners get a fresh start and boost their operations during this difficult time. The multi-faceted program offers grants, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants.
The program consists of the following main components to help local Washington state’s small businesses interested in applying:
- Grants: In early 2021, 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.
- 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 equipment and technology upgrades, including:
- 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. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
- Consulting: Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research and creative teams to gain insights on how to grow your business.
- 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.
“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 Teresa Ward-Maupin, SVP for Digital and Customer Experience at Comcast Business. “I could not be more pleased to open this program to the entire BIPOC community and continue this positive momentum.”
“Fueling the success of small businesses is what our business is all about. We partner with them to better understand their needs and what we can do to help them grow. Our success is their success,” said James Lavallee, Vice President, Sales Marketing, Effectv. “That’s why, at a time when so many in our small business communities are struggling, it’s incredibly humbling to be able to give back and share our knowledge and resources with those hardest by the pandemic. We want to help our partners and communities rise.”
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.
Visit www.ComcastRISE.com to apply, for more information and the latest updates.