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Comcast announces RISE initiative that aims to strengthen Black-owned business

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Comcast Corporation launched Comcast RISE, an initiative created to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. The Comcast RISE program will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years.

Comcast employs 1,000 in Delaware and provides broadband-cable service in much of the state.

The 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.

U.S. small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. A recentstudyfrom 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 reported that Black-owned small businesses were hardest hit, suffering the steepest decline (41 percent), followed by Hispanic and Asian American-owned small businesses.

The program will roll out in waves. U.S.-based Black-owned small businesses can apply for marketing and technology support and equipment to jumpstart and help them sustain business operations. In addition, all small businesses are able to sign up for free marketing insights and resources. The next wave of the program will open up eligibility to includeBlack, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC),those next hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic.

Comcast RISE brings together two of the company’s brands —Comcast Business and Effectv, both with expertise in the small business space.

“Small businesses have always played an integral role in our nation’s growth and future. In the midst of the pandemic, these entrepreneurs provided many of the services and resources that keep our communities up and running,” said Comcast Advertising Chief Marketing Officer Maria Weaver.“We’re proud and humbled to support those hit hardest by the pandemic, and provide them with marketing and technology support at a time when they need it the most.”

Comcast RISE consists of the following 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 the 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 will create a business learningdestination pageon the X1 platform. This will include 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 Comcastlaunched 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 smallanddiversebusiness owners. Visithttp://www.ComcastRISE.com for more information.

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