Independent small businesses in the Puget Sound Region are the backbone of our communities, and today, more than ever, they need our help. The ongoing impact of the pandemic has created an incredible need for additional support to keep these small businesses open and thriving. This is especially important for those owned by persons of color.
Nationally, the number of active business owners in the United States fell by 22 percent last year. But a demographic breakdown paints an even bleaker picture. The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates the number of working Black business owners plummeted over 40% in 2020. Other minority business owners experienced similar worse-than-average losses, including immigrants (a 36 percent drop). Latinx-owned businesses declined by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%.
Comcast RISE was created to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support. Comcast today announced it will award $1 million in grants to 100 small businesses owned by people of color in King and Pierce Counties, as well as technology and marketing resources to eligible businesses in the area.
King and Pierce Counties are among six markets that also includes Houston, Miami, Oakland, the Twin Cities, and Washington, D.C. that were selected to award a $10,000 grant to 100 local businesses from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, for a total of $5 million across 600 businesses.
Beginning on October 1, and through October 14, eligible businesses can apply for Comcast RISE monetary grants, and, or marketing and technology Services at www.ComcastRISE.com. Winners will be notified in November. Businesses located in University Place are eligible to apply for this program in Washington if the business:
A video overview about the launch of the Comcast RISE Investment fund in Washington state is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDS0xIFr6O4&t=17s. Please see more information about Comcast RISE grant details and eligibility at: https://www.comcastrise.com/investment-fund/
The Investment Fund is an extension of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October 2020 to support small businesses owned by people of color and provide the resources and tools they need to thrive for years to come.
Comcast RISE Marketing and Technology Services
In addition to the Investment Fund, Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” provides the opportunity for small businesses owned by people of color nationwide to apply for one or more of the following support focus areas with the opportunity to receive one.
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 featuring aggregated small business news, tips, insights, and more. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.
Comcast’s Ongoing Commitment to Advancing Digital Equity
Comcast RISE is part of an expanded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) commitment that Comcast announced in June 2020, as well as an ongoing cross-company effort to address digital inequities. Over the next 10 years, Comcast is pledging $1 billion to programs and partnerships that will connect an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world. More information and the applications to apply for either the grant program or marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.