Comcast Offers Thousands of Grants, Equipment, Marketing and Technology Resources to Small Businesses Hardest Hit by COVID-19
Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) today launched Comcast RISE, an initiative created to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by COVID-19. The Comcast RISE program will help thousands of small businesses over the next three years. The multi-faceted program offers grants, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants.
U.S. small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that the number of U.S. active business owners dropped from 15 million to 11.7 million from February to April. The study cited that Black-owned small businesses were hardest hit, suffering the steepest decline (41 percent), followed by Hispanic and Asian American-owned small businesses.
The program will roll out in waves, and starting today, U.S.-based Black-owned small businesses can apply for marketing and technology support and equipment to jumpstart and help them sustain business operations. In addition, all small businesses are able to sign up for free marketing insights and resources. The next wave of the program will open up eligibility to include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), those next hit hardest by the effects of the pandemic.
“There’s this old saying, ‘When America catches a cold, black America catches pneumonia.’ Black Businesses, which never recovered from the great recession, have been ravaged by COVID-19 with Black-owned businesses twice as likely to close as their white counterparts. While many businesses have responded by moving online or retrofitting to allow for social distancing, many Black business owners have had to halt their operations completely,” said Ron Busby, President/CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “Comcast RISE will help Black businesses adapt to the changing landscape and position them to be leaders in America’s burgeoning online to offline economy. USBC commends Comcast for starting this program and for their hands-on support of Black-owned businesses, because advancing Black businesses advances us all.”