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Comcast announced Tuesday it will award $1 million in grants to 100 Black, Indigenous and People of Color- (BIPOC) owned small businesses in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park, as well as technology and marketing resources to 84 additional businesses across Michigan.
These recipients are part of nearly 2,500 entrepreneurs nationwide who have been selected as Comcast RISE awardees since November. Detroit was one of five cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia, that was selected to award $10,000 grants to 100 local businesses from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, for a total of $5 million across 500 businesses.
“Through Comcast RISE, we are helping BIPOC-owned businesses stabilize and bounce forward,” said Tim Collins, senior vice president for Comcast in Michigan. “We’ve seen firsthand how business owners have benefited from this program, and we are committed to building on that momentum as Michigan’s economic rebound depends greatly on the success of its small businesses.”
In addition, Comcast RISE invests in ongoing mentorship and resources to help businesses succeed over the long term. The program has partnered with Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to provide grant recipients with business coaching to help build skills in company foundation, growing customers and financial stability. All Comcast RISE recipients will also have a specialized online networking community within Ureeka with access to educational resources, sources of capital, and vetted experts such as U.S. Black Chambers, National Asian Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 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.”
Comcast RISE was formed in late 2020 to give BIPOC-owned small businesses, from bakeries and barber shops to childcare centers and cleaning services, the tools needed to not just survive, but thrive. The 2,500 recipients are from in 422 cities across 34 states.
Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is part of an expanded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitment that Comcast announced last summer, as well as a coordinated cross-company effort to address digital inequities through sustainable programming and investments such as Internet Essentials and Lift Zones. Eligible businesses can apply for the following:
- 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.)
- 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.
A key part of Comcast RISE is ensuring business sustainability. As such, Comcast has already invested more than $2 million in more than 20 community-based organizations and diverse chambers of commerce, including Build Institute, Grand Innovation, Tech Town Detroit, and Venture Catalysts in Detroit, to provide additional support to BIPOC-owned small businesses.
All small business owners can visit the Comcast RISE destination on Xfinity X1, which features aggregated small business news, resources, Comcast RISE recipient stories and more. The destination is designed to help businesses grow by empowering them through inspiration, education and entertainment. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.
Visit www.ComcastRISE.com to apply, for more information and the latest updates.