Comcast today announced the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, providing $5 million dollars of grants to hundreds of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses in five cities nationwide, including $1 million in Detroit.
Beginning on March 1 through March 14, eligible businesses in Detroit, in addition to Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia, can apply for a $10,000 grant at www.ComcastRISE.com. A total of 100 grants in Detroit or 500 grants overall, will be awarded in May 2021. The Investment Fund is the latest extension of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October 2020 that initially focused on black-owned, small businesses and then extended to BIPOC-owned to help those hardest hit by COVID-19.
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is focused on small businesses which have been in business for three or more years with 1-25 employees. Businesses must be in Detroit, Hamtramck or Highland Park, MI.
“This pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on our communities of color and has been particularly damaging for minority-owned businesses that make our communities vibrant places to visit and call home,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Through innovative programs like Comcast RISE, we are creating equitable opportunities for Michigan’s small businesses to not only survive this ongoing pandemic, but also be in a position to thrive long after this crisis is over.”
To help drive outreach about the program and provide additional support, training and mentorship, Comcast has also awarded more than $2 million to nearly 20 community-based organizations in the five cities, including Build Institute, Grand Innovation, Tech Town Detroit, and Venture Catalysts in Detroit as well as the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), Operation Hope, Ureeka, U.S. Black Chambers, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and National Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
“Detroit’s economic comeback depends greatly on the success of its small businesses – and they need support now more than ever,” said Mayor Michael Duggan. “I am deeply grateful to Comcast for its commitment to support our city’s entrepreneurs by helping them stabilize and rebound through the Comcast RISE $1 million investment opportunity.”
Studies show that BIPOC-owned, small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and recent research by JPMorgan Chase Institute found that Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia were in the top markets for sharp declines in local commerce spending. Additionally, most applications for the Comcast RISE marketing and technology services component are from these five cities.
In addition to the Investment Fund, Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” provides the opportunity for BIPOC-owned, small businesses nationwide to apply for one or more of the following support focus areas for the opportunity to receive one. More than 700 recipients were announced in November, with the next wave of recipients to be announced in March 2021.
- 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 TV commercial production, plus a media strategy consultation and 90-day media placement schedule.
- 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 technology makeover services.)
In addition, all eligible applicants will receive a monthly Comcast RISE newsletter with educational content, and all small business owners can visit the Comcast RISE destination on the X1 platform, which features aggregated small business news, tips, insights and more. The destination is designed to help businesses grow by empowering them through inspiration and entertainment. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.
Comcast RISE is part of a larger $100 million Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative that Comcast launched this summer. In June, 2020, Comcast NBCUniversal announced the development of a comprehensive, multi-year 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.
More information and the applications to apply for either the grant program or the marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.