Small businesses have been dealing with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, social unrest, and environmental events. Small businesses owned by people of color or women have been some of the hardest hit. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, between February and April 2020, the number of active Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, Latinx-owned businesses declined by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%, versus just 21% for the general population. In 2020, Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses with a commitment to provide valuable and practical support to 13,000 entrepreneurs nationwide by the end of 2022.
In November 2021, Comcast RISE expanded the program to all women-owned businesses nationwide. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, with more than 1,800 new businesses being started every day. That’s nearly five times the national average. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed.
During its two-year term, selected businesses received one or more of the following elements:
Advertising and marketing consultations to gain insights on business growth.
A linear TV media schedule, over a 90-day period.
Turnkey production of a 30-second TV commercial, plus a media strategy consultation and 90-day media placement schedule.
Computer equipment and Internet, Voice and Cybersecurity services for 12 months. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
In total, Comcast RISE has awarded $21 million in grants to 2,100 businesses across select metropolitan areas. Each business received $10,000 to invest in its own growth and sustainability.