General FAQs

Comcast RISE is committed to supporting the growth of all small businesses, while advancing the objectives of diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as community investment. The program is built to help businesses and their communities thrive with a focus on economic growth.

Comcast RISE was created in 2020 to help small businesses hard hit by COVID-19 recover and thrive. During its initial two-year program, 13,000 small businesses were awarded with over $110 million in monetary, marketing, and technology grants. As small businesses transition from pandemic recovery to a focus on expansion and growth, Comcast will continue its efforts in 2023 to help an even broader range of small businesses, while continuing to focus on diversity, inclusion, and community investment.

This year, Comcast RISE will award 500 recipients in five cities with a grant package that includes business consultation services, education resources, monetary grants, creative production, media schedules, and technology makeovers.

A total of 100 grants per city, or 500 grants in total, will be announced and awarded in August 2023.

In 2020, there was a unique opportunity to support the small and medium-sized businesses that were hardest hit by the pandemic, using resource grants from Comcast Business and Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable. Over the program’s initial two-year term, Comcast RISE fulfilled its commitment to support 13,000 small businesses nationwide.

Now, many small businesses are moving to the next phase and we are refocusing our goal of helping small businesses accelerate growth to become a thriving contributor to their local communities and economies. As we have refocused the program, we also have expanded its scope, as well, making it available to a broader range of small businesses.

No, the current program eligibility has expanded to include all small business owners, while maintaining a focus on diversity inclusion and community investment.

Eligibility for the 2020 to 2022 term of the Comcast RISE program focused on businesses owned by people of color (including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others) or women, because these marginalized communities were hit particularly hard by the effects of the pandemic. Comcast is committed to continuing its efforts to positively impact small businesses and when the next phase of the program opens on June 1, 2023, it will open eligibility to all small businesses, but will focus on how small businesses support the goals of diversity, inclusion, and community investment.

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Eligible small business owners were able to submit an online application from June 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.

Recipients will be selected to receive a Comcast RISE award based on the qualitative and quantitative answers submitted. A selection committee identified by Comcast will review all eligible submissions received during the contest period and use the following judging criteria to determine the top finalists: (i) completeness of the submission (ii) originality of submission; and (iii) persuasiveness of responses to questions provided on why the applicant should be considered for the Comcast RISE program and how their business contributes to DEI objectives and advances the economic health of their local community. Examples may include, among others: hiring from within the local community, purchasing raw materials or support services from other local businesses, and commitments or donations to local DEI non-profit groups.

Yes, all applicants who are not selected will hear from us and will be eligible to apply again for future rounds. They will receive an email communication informing them that, while they didn’t receive a Comcast RISE award, they will receive free marketing insights and resources via our Comcast RISE newsletter.

After recipients are announced on August 22, 2023, they will be contacted via phone or email and the fulfillment process will begin. Services will be made available and fulfilled as quickly as possible, but the timing will vary based on services rendered.

Yes, current Comcast Business customers and Effectv clients are eligible for all potential program benefits.

Comcast RISE recipients will receive an award package, including the following elements:

  • Consultation: general business assessment and consulting that provides business owners with recommendations on how to grow their businesses.
  • Creative/Media: a turnkey :30 TV commercial production for their business and a linear TV media schedule over a 180-day period from Effectv.
  • Technology Makeover: a combination of Comcast Business Internet, Voice, and cybersecurity malware protection with no monthly service charge for up to a 12-month period, and computer equipment from a selection of laptops and tablets. Tech Makeover services can only be awarded to one business location for a 12-month consecutive period.
  • Monetary Grant: a $5,000 monetary grant in the form of an ACH payment.
  • Education: 12-month access to online entrepreneurship courses, learning modules and resources for small business owners.
  • Additional Benefits: marketing and data insights via the Comcast RISE monthly email newsletter, as well as a virtual listing, including contact information on the Comcast RISE website for all eligible recipients.

No. There is no ability to substitute business services with a cash equivalent for business services.

Recipients are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and services being provided under the program. Recipients are strongly encouraged to consult with their tax advisers to determine any tax consequences in connection with award acceptance and program services.

For Tech Makeover awards, recipients will be subject to federal tax based on the value of Tech Makeover services and equipment. The approximate retail value of each Tech Makeover prize is $7,500. Winners are expected to provide the appropriate information for purposes of applicable tax forms. Comcast will issue 1099 Forms to all winners for the tax year in which the majority of the Tech Makeovers services were received. In this case, winners will receive 1099 Forms in February of 2025 since most of the Tech Makeover services would have been received by the winner in 2024.

For Creative and Media Campaign awards, recipients will be subject to federal tax based on the value of the production of the 30-second television commercial and the one hundred-eighty (180) day linear TV media schedule. The approximate retail value of each Creative and Media Campaign prize is $17,500. Winners are expected to provide the appropriate information for purposes of applicable tax forms. Comcast will issue 1099 Forms to all winners for the tax year in which the majority of the services were received. In this case, winners will receive 1099 Forms in February of 2025 since most of the linear TV media schedule would have been received in 2024.

If the value of the Prizes (non-cash) provided by Comcast is reported as income to the Winner on Form 1099, the recipient may be entitled to tax deductions of an equivalent amount. Winners are strongly encouraged to consult their tax advisor.

There are a select number of services that can be added through Comcast Business or Effectv. These added services will be charged at current rates. The customer is responsible for the timely payment of all monthly charges and taxes of any additional services not included in the Comcast RISE program. If the customer fails to make a payment for the additional services, the complimentary Comcast RISE services, as well as the additional services, will be impacted and may be suspended or disconnected.

Applications are evaluated based on the completeness of submission, demonstrated need of the business, ability to articulate a plan for business growth and how a Comcast RISE award can aid in that growth strategy. Applications will also be evaluated on the business’ ability to articulate and/or demonstrate how they work to uplift their local community by advancing DEI initiatives or otherwise investing in the community’s local economic health.

There were several factors considered to determine the 2023 Comcast RISE cities, including: demographic composition of the city, number of small businesses, projected economic growth for the area, and greatest opportunity for community impact.