Comcast on Tuesday released the names of 100 Chicago and Cook County BIPOC-owned small businesses that will receive $10,000 grants from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund.
The $1 million in local grants is part of a $5 million multi-city initiative designed to support BIPOC- (Black, Indigenous and other People of Color) owned small businesses in Chicago and Cook County, as well as Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia, that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is part of an expanded commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion the company announced last summer. The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is a component of the Comcast RISE initiative, which was formed in late 2020 to give BIPOC-owned small businesses, from bakeries and barber shops to childcare centers and cleaning services, tools they need to not just survive, but thrive going forward. Since Comcast RISE began, the company has awarded nearly 2,500 businesses in 422 cities across 34 states grants and other awards, including:
- Marketing Services: The following services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and its creative agency, Mnemonic, are designed to help recipients with their marketing and media campaigns, including:
- Media: A linear TV media campaign to run over a 90-day period.
- Creative Production: Turnkey 30-second TV commercial production, plus a media strategy consultation and a 90-day linear TV media campaign.
- Consulting: Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research and creative teams to gain insights on how to drive business.
- Technology Makeovers: The state-of-the-art equipment and technology upgrade from Comcast Business includes computer equipment as well as internet, voice and cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
“We launched Comcast RISE, because we were out in the field every day and were seeing first-hand how deeply COVID-19 was impacting small, diverse-owned businesses in communities throughout the region,” said Jeff Cobb, Comcast Business Regional Vice President. “Our hope is that the financial resources and services we’re providing through Comcast RISE not only help these businesses survive the pandemic, but adapt to a rapidly changing business environment moving forward.”
Comcast RISE is investing in ongoing mentorship and resources by partnering with Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to provide Comcast RISE Investment Fund grant recipients with business coaching to help them build skills in company foundation, growing customers and financial stability.
In addition, all Comcast RISE recipients will receive access to a specialized online networking community within Ureeka that includes educational resources, sources of capital and vetted experts, including the U.S. Black Chambers, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, Walker’s Legacy and Operation Hope.
“Comcast RISE represents a holistic program that can help advance BIPOC entrepreneurs. The commitment to coaching, capital and connections is critical for historically overlooked communities in achieving economic prosperity,” said Melissa Bradley, Co-founder of Ureeka. “We are humbled and excited to partner on this program.”
Through Comcast RISE, the company also announced plans to support 13,000 BIPOC-owned small businesses with monetary grants; a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv; or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business by 2022.
Visit www.ComcastRISE.com to apply and for more information and updates.