The deadline to apply for the next round of Comcast RISE services is October 16. Comcast RISE is a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched to strengthen small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. Colorado small businesses owned by people of color and women are encouraged to apply for the chance to receive consulting, media, and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business, based on their specific needs.
Businesses owned by people of color and women that are based in Comcast service areas throughout Colorado are eligible to apply for this program. This comes as part of an expansion of Comcast RISE earlier this year, to further its efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and resources they need to thrive.
According to a 2020 study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, with more than 1,800 new businesses being started every day. That’s nearly five times the national average. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed. Additionally, according to the United States Census, in 2019, more than 1 million employer businesses in the United States were minority-owned.
Since the program’s inception, Comcast announced nearly 90 Colorado small businesses as Comcast RISE recipients. This includes Kimberly’s Event Center, a woman-owned business, as well as Spice Island Grill, West 29th Salon, and Lawrence & Larimer Clothing & Supply Co.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how we work and how those within our community work,” said Kimberly Ponce, owner of Kimberly’s Event Center.“ And with these changes, Comcast RISE has helped our team to pivot. The technology makeover package provided our team with computers that allow us to work remotely and internet services for 12 months, that provide our customers with the means for a mobile working environment.”
Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment, is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast is committing $1 billion to programs, like Comcast RISE, and partnerships to reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
In its first year alone, Comcast RISE provided more than $60 million in grants, marketing, and technology services to more than 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color – including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian Americans.
More information and the applications to apply for marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.