Comcast recently unveiled its latest commitment to supporting local small businesses that have been greatly impacted by the ongoing pandemic across the South Sound region.
This newest Comcast RISE initiative opens on October 1 through October 14, presenting an opportunity for BIPOC business owners to receive $10,000 in relief funds.
Validated by recent data, Comcast RISE shifts its focus to the segment of businesses owned by people of color, many of whom have been hit particularly hard economically this past year.
The program, initially launched by Comcast last year, has set out to not only offer lasting impact and support to area businesses but to play a meaningful role in thwarting systemic issues and influence positive changes within communities.
A recent Comcast RISE kickoff event, Keep Rising, was hosted, and led by Comcast Washington Region Senior Vice-President, Rodrigo Lopez, to announce the upcoming monetary grants.
The virtual event was attended by Tacoma Mayor, Victoria Woodards, Seattle Port Commissioner, Sam Cho, Pierce County Council Member, Ryan Mello, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Rachel Smith, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Tom Pierson, Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, President and CEO, Andrea Reay, and GSBA, Acting President and CEO, Mark Rosen.
Mayor Woodards, and others, spoke in gratitude of Comcast RISE initiatives during the live presentation.
“I continue to be grateful for the partnership and generosity of Comcast in supporting community needs through the pandemic,” said Woodards. “Building on the Internet Essentials program, Comcast has come forward with the next wave of assistance in Comcast RISE. I truly believe we are stronger together. And Comcast’s commitment to community is evident by all of the support that they continue to provide, and it is very much appreciated not only by myself as mayor of the city but by our city council and by the over 217,000 residents who call Tacoma home.”
Several area business owners spoke about the direct impact and difference the Comcast RISE program has made on their lives and business situations during the past year while facing closures and setbacks due to COVID-19.
Clinton Taylor, of Your Money Matters Mentoring, a financial mentoring non-profit for ages 17-25, experienced struggles transitioning from in-person, group settings to an all-online programming platform.
Lacking resources, Comcast RISE enabled Taylor’s business to continue growing and engaging with students through grants that made equipment and internet access possible.
“We get overlooked for the larger organizations, and sometimes, we just don’t get the same resources that we need to help us to be able to make an impact in the lives of those we’re trying to serve,” said Taylor. “We focus on 17- to 25-year-old BIPOC young adults across the Puget Sound area and really feel honored and thrilled to have been a part of the Comcast RISE program. We’re very excited for the things they are going to be doing in the future and their commitment to continuing to support the small business and being intentional about also wanting to help businesses run by people of color.”
Stories like this, and many more, show how deeply Comcast RISE believes in the spirit of independent small businesses as the core and strength of communities.
They continue to rise above and beyond for small business owners in Pierce and King Counties and all across Washington, creating equitable and inclusive programs that provide economic aid, outreach, and support when it’s needed most.
“Independent small businesses are the backbone of our communities. And today, more than ever, small businesses owned by people of color are hurting,” said Lopez. “Comcast is committed to supporting small businesses who have been hit the hardest by the economic impact of the pandemic. In addition to offering services, Comcast will provide $1 million in monetary grants to help local small businesses owned by people of color, and will continue to offer, marketing, creative media and technology services to help small businesses survive and thrive.”
The deadline for BIPOC business owners to complete their applications is October 14, 2021. Find out more, and apply here.