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Comcast RISE to Award $1M in Grants to Small Businesses Owned by Women and People of Color in Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck

On Thursday, May 12, Comcast announced it will award $1 million in grants to 100  Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck small businesses owned by women and people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others. Detroit was one of five cities, including Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Twin Cities, selected for the program. Comcast will award a $10,000 grant to 100 local businesses from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, for a total of $5 million across 500 businesses. This brings the amount awarded to $16 million to date.

The application process will open to qualifying businesses June 1-14, and prospective owners must have their businesses located within the geographic boundaries of Detroit, Highland Park, and Hamtramck.

“The Comcast RISE Investment Fund supported my business at a very critical time in the midst of the pandemic when parents, particularly those who were considered essential workers, needed a safe, reliable environment for their pre-K-aged children,” said Nina Hodge, Above and Beyond Learning Childcare Center on Detroit’s east side.

To help drive outreach about the program and provide additional support, training and mentorship, Comcast is also awarding $60,000 in grants to four community-based organizations in Detroit, including Build Institute, Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance, Michigan Women Forward and TechTown Detroit.

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.

“Ureeka is proud to partner with Comcast RISE to grow small businesses nationwide with coaching and digital services,” said, Melissa Bradley, co-founder of Ureeka. “We know there are stark disparities in access to capital and resources for entrepreneurs of color and women entrepreneurs. The additional coaching and digital resources that these businesses receive, in addition to potential monetary funding, will help these businesses gain valuable skills and opportunities that will help them move from survive to thrive.”

Comcast RISE was formed in late 2020 to give small businesses owned by people of color, from bakeries and barbershops to child care centers and cleaning services, the grants needed to not just survive, but thrive. The 4,700 recipients are from 422 cities across 34 states. In November 2021, Comcast RISE announced a major expansion to all women-owned businesses nationwide.

Comcast RISE Marketing and Technology Services

In addition to the Investment Fund, Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” provides the opportunity for small businesses owned by people of color and women nationwide to apply for grants for one or more of the following support focus areas with the opportunity to receive one.

  • Marketing Services Grant: 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.
    • Consult: Digital audits by Ureeka in the form of Website Repair Reports and SEO Keyword reports to target website mechanics and effective organic marketing
  • Technology Makeover Grants: 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.)
  • Monetary Grants: In round one, which was announced in April of 2021, the Comcast RISE Investment Fund provided $5 million in grants to 500 small businesses owned by people of color in five cities: Detroit, Philadelphia/Chester, Houston, Atlanta and Chicago. In round two, which was announced in September of 2021, the Comcast RISE Investment Fund provided $6 million in grants to 600 small businesses in six cities: Miami, Houston, Oakland, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. As noted above, the Comcast RISE Investment Fund will provide an additional $5 million in grants to 500 small businesses owned by people of color and women in five cities: Detroit, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and the Twin Cities.

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 featuring aggregated small business news, tips, insights, and more. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.

Comcast’s Ongoing Commitment to Advancing Digital Equity

Comcast RISE is part of Comcast’s ongoing efforts 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 has committed $1 billion to programs and partnerships that will reach tens of millions of people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

More information and the applications to apply for either the grant program or marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.