Now is the time to rise: Resources and tools to elevate your business

Recently, small businesses have been dealing with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest and environmental events ranging from major storms and flooding to excessive heat and massive wildfires.

Small businesses owned by people of color 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 21% for the general population. Comcast RISE was created in late 2020 to invest in the success of these critical businesses by providing valuable and practical support.

Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is part of an expanded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitment that Comcast announced last summer, as well as a coordinated cross-company effort to address digital inequities through sustainable programming and investments such as Internet Essentials and Lift Zones. Eligible businesses can apply for the following:

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-second TV commercial production, plus a media strategy consultation and a 90-day linear TV media campaign.

• 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 tech makeover services.)

To date, nearly 3,700 entrepreneurs nationwide have been selected as Comcast RISE awardees, including a diverse roster from restaurants and salons to professional services, child care centers and retail shops. In addition to the marketing and technology resources, Chicago and Cook County was one of five locations selected to award a $10,000 grant to 100 local businesses from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, for a total of $5 million across 500 businesses. Through Comcast RISE, the company recently announced it will support 13,000 small businesses by 2022.

Visit to apply, for more information and the latest updates.

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