NEW YORK — Earlier this year, in an effort to assist Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned businesses, Comcast started awarding grants from its Comcast RISE Investment Fund.
The fund, launched in October 2020, initially focused on black-owned, small businesses and then extended to BIPOC-owned to help those hardest hit by COVID-19. The fund awarded 100 grants in the amount of $10,000 each in five cities, for a total of $5 million.
The fund is set to begin issuing another round of grants, and has set a deadline of Oct. 16, 2021, for BIPOC-owned small businesses to apply.
“BIPOC entrepreneurs need access to capital along with the training resources and networks that are so critical to success,” says Dalila Wilson-Scott, executive vice president and chief diversity officer, Comcast Corporation and president, Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. “Through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, we are investing in BIPOC-owned, small businesses that create jobs and play a vital role in supporting our communities. The Comcast RISE investments will provide more BIPOC entrepreneurs with the resources and tools they need to scale their businesses and thrive for years to come.”
Comcast RISE is open to small businesses located in Atlanta (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties); Chicago (Cook County, including the City of Chicago); Detroit (also including Hamtramck and Highland Park, Michigan); Houston (Harris and Fort Bend counties); and Philadelphia (City of Philadelphia and City of Chester.)
In addition to being located in one of these areas, qualifying applicants must be:
- at least 51% owned and operated by people of color,
- independently owned and operated,
- registered to conduct business in the U.S., and
- in operation for one or more years.
Comcast has also awarded more than $2 million to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), Operation Hope, Ureeka, U.S. Black Chambers, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Asian American Chamber of Commerce and nearly 20 community-based organizations in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia.
“The data is clear. Business owners of color are historically disadvantaged when accessing capital. Now more than ever, it is important to invest in these small businesses, especially those in markets such as Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Philadelphia who have seen significant economic impact from the pandemic,” says Connie E. Evans, CEO and president of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO). “We are excited to be able to partner with Comcast to support the communities in which we both serve. This financial boost from Comcast comes at a pivotal moment as we near a year of businesses altering models, pivoting plans and fighting to stay open.”
For more information or to apply for a grant, visit www.comcastrise.com/apply.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at ddavi[email protected] .