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TEQ One Mic Stand: Comcast RISE to Award $1M in Small Business Grants

Interview by Jonathan Kersting

One Mic Stand

 

Comcast today announced it will award $1 million in grants to 100 small businesses owned by women and people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others, in Allegheny County. Eligible businesses can access and submit applications at www.comcastrise.com from June 1-14.

Pittsburgh is one of five locations, including Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Twin Cities, that was selected to 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 will bring to $16 million the amount awarded since the inception of the Investment Fund.

The first round of the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, announced in April of 2021, provided $5 million in grants to 500 small businesses owned by people of color in five cities: Philadelphia/Chester, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. Round two was announced in September of 2021, providing $6 million in grants to 600 small businesses in six locations: Miami, Houston, Oakland, Seattle, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C.

To help drive awareness about round three of the program and provide additional support, training, and mentorship, Comcast has also awarded support to Neighborhood Allies, the Mon Valley Initiative and the University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Recipients will be announced later this summer.

The monetary grants made through the Investment Fund complement the ongoing Comcast RISE core program, which has provided more than $50 million in technology and marketing resources to more than 8,000 entrepreneurs nationwide since RISE began in November of 2020. These resources, which have gone to 19 businesses in Western PA, include a TV campaign; production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable; or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business.

Together, the Investment Fund and core program will support 13,000 small businesses owned by women and people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others, by the end of 2022.

Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” was formed to give small businesses owned by people of color, from bakeries and barber shops to childcare centers and cleaning services, the grants needed to not just survive, but thrive. In November 2021, Comcast RISE announced a major expansion to all women-owned businesses nationwide.