In October 2020 Comcast launched the Comcast RISE initiative, bringing together two of the company’s brands —Comcast Business and Effectv, both with expertise in the small business space — to empower business owners with the expertise and resources needed to navigate the economic effects of the pandemic. The first phase of Comcast RISE focused on U.S. Black-owned small businesses. There were recipients in 285 cities in 29 states, and 43 of those small business owners were from Houston, Texas.
“COVID-19 made the tough year of 2020. As a small business what hurt the most was being deemed non-essential and having to close our doors,” said Raymond Angelus McFarlane, owner and head instructor of Ravlin Martial Arts centrally located in the Bellaire community. “I’m extremely excited that a business like Comcast has taken an interest to support small businesses. I believe that the technology grant from Comcast will help us bring more people back and help us grow.”
“We all know with COVID going on, the pandemic, so many businesses, but especially with home care, it was fear of the unknown. We had so many of our caregivers to be exposed, must quarantine, so they couldn’t work. So, we had clients saying we don’t want to use you anymore,” said Tomeka McKinney, Owner of Nurturing Companions. “I don’t even know if I can express in words how grateful I am, but I think they should continue, a company such as Comcast, supporting and giving back is what they’re doing during this time means so much.”
The next phase of Comcast RISE has opened eligibility to include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned small businesses. If you are interested, you can apply at http://www.ComcastRISE.com.
“We created Comcast RISE to partner with small businesses and give them access to tools to help them survive the pandemic and thrive. As we’ve gone through the selection process, it’s been so powerful to hear these business owners’ stories and see the tangible ways that we can help grow their businesses and impact their communities,” said Vince Margiotta, Vice President of Comcast Business in Houston. “I could not be more pleased to open this program to the entire BIPOC community and continue this positive momentum.”
Comcast RISE is part of a larger $100 million Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative that Comcast launched in the summer of 2020. In June, Comcast NBCUniversal announced the development of a comprehensive, multiyear plan to allocate $75 million in cash and $25 million in media over the next three years to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or ability.