Eligible businesses in Chicago and Cook County can apply March 1 – 14 for a $10,000 grant; 100 recipients will be selected.
Additionally, over $2 million has been awarded to more than 20 community-based organizations and diverse chambers of commerce in locations nationally, including the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Development Center
February 9, 2021 – Comcast today announced the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, providing $5 million dollars in grants to hundreds of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses in five cities nationwide, including $1 million in Chicago and Cook County. From March 1 through March 14, eligible Chicago and Cook County businesses, in addition to businesses in Atlanta, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia, can apply for $10,000 grants at www.ComcastRISE.com. A total of 100 grants in Chicago and Cook County and 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 businesses to help those hardest hit by COVID-19.
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is focused on small businesses that have been in business for three or more years with one to 25 employees. 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 the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Development Center in Illinois, and in other locations and nationally, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), Operation Hope, Ureeka, U.S. Black Chambers, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Asian American Chamber of Commerce.
“Comcast RISE is designed to give BIPOC-owned small businesses tools to not only survive the pandemic, but thrive afterward,” said Jeff Cobb, Comcast Business Regional Vice President. “We’re pleased to be able to make these resources available in Chicago and Cook County, which is home to one of the most pandemic-impacted small-business communities in the nation.”
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, the majority of applications for the Comcast RISE marketing and technology services component were from these five cities.
“Helping small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the state’s top priorities,” said Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Emanuel Chris Welch (D-Hillside). “This pandemic has challenged all Illinois communities, especially communities of color. It’s encouraging to see initiatives like Comcast RISE come to the table with tools and assistance that can help our BIPOC-owned businesses survive the pandemic.”
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 support in the following focus areas. Over 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 last 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.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest high-speed internet, video, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
About Comcast Business
About Comcast Business Comcast Business offers Ethernet, Internet, Wi-Fi, Voice, TV and Managed Enterprise Solutions to help organizations of all sizes transform their business. Powered by an advanced network, and backed by 24/7 customer support, Comcast Business is one of the largest contributors to the growth of Comcast Cable. Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and has emerged as a force in the Enterprise market; recognized over the last two years by leading industry associations as one of the fastest growing providers of Ethernet services. For more information, visit www.business.comcast.com or call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social.
Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, helps local, regional and national advertisers use the best of digital with the power of TV to grow their business. It provides multi-screen marketing solutions to make advertising campaigns more effective and easier to execute. Headquartered in New York with offices throughout the country, Effectv has a presence in 66 markets with nearly 35 million owned and represented subscribers. For more information, visit www.effectv.com.