Comcast announced it will award $10,000 grants to 100 small businesses owned by women and people of color in Cook County through its Comcast RISE Investment Fund. Cook County is one of five locations selected for this new round of the grants program. Other locations include Miami, Oakland, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Comcast will award a total of $1 million in grants in Cook County alone – $5 million across the five locations – in this round. This brings the total amount of Comcast RISE Investment Fund grants awarded to $21 million nationwide to date. This is the second time Comcast has opened the fund to Cook County businesses.
“The pandemic has affected businesses owned by women and people of color in Cook County and elsewhere exceptionally hard,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “I encourage eligible businesses to apply for a grant. This money can help strengthen their position, especially as we emerge from the pandemic. “
“Women-owned businesses face a variety of challenges, including accessing funding,” said Women’s Business Development Center President and Chief Executive Officer, Emilia DiMenco. “These dollars will allow them to invest in their businesses and strengthen their financial position moving forward.”
“Hispanic-owned businesses face enormous barriers to success,” said Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer, Jaime di Paulo. “These dollars will allow them to invest in their people, their equipment and their technology, and help prepare them for the future.”
To help drive awareness of the program and provide additional support, training and mentorship, Comcast is awarding a total of $50,000 in grants to four Cook County community-based organizations, including the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, South East Chicago Commission, South Shore Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Business Development Center.
Comcast RISE also provides 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 women and people of color in Comcast’s nationwide footprint to apply to receive one or more of the following services:
- Marketing services: Comcast’s advertising sales division, Effectv, and its creative agency, Mnemonic, help recipients with marketing and media campaigns, including:
- Media: Linear TV media campaigns that 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;
- Consultations: Digital audits by Ureeka, a go-to platform for small businesses looking to use their website and online marketing to acquire customers, in the form of Website Repair Reports and Search Engine Optimization Keyword reports to target website mechanics and effective organic marketing; and
- Technology Makeovers: Technology upgrades from Comcast Business include computer equipment, as well as internet, voice and cybersecurity services for up to 12 months (taxes and other fees may apply).
Comcast RISE was formed in late 2020 to give small businesses owned by people of color the support and resources they need to not just survive but thrive. In November 2021, Comcast RISE announced a major expansion to all women-owned businesses. To date, more than 9,500 Comcast RISE awardees have been announced from 704 cities across 37 states and the program is on track to provide support to 13,000 small businesses by the end of 2022. Comcast RISE is part of Project UP, the company’s comprehensive 10-year, $1 billion initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities.
For more information and to apply, visit www.ComcastRISE.com. The Comcast RISE Investment Fund grant application is open from Oct 3-16 to Cook County businesses owned by women and people of color that have been in business three or more years with 1-25 employees. Check the site for more information about eligibility. Site visitors can also apply for the opportunity to receive marketing and technology services through Comcast RISE.