Comcast Corporation today announced the first round of Comcast RISE award recipients —over 700 businesses will receive consulting, media, and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, or technology upgrades from Comcast Business, based on the specific needs.

Recipients in 285 cities in 29 states — nearly 80 businesses from Metro Atlanta were awarded grants — include a diverse roster of small business from restaurants and salons, to professional services and retail shops. In addition, 3,300 small businesses have already signed up to receive the Comcast RISE monthly newsletter, which will offer free marketing insights and resources.

The recipients in greater Atlanta include Harold’s Chicken and Ice Bar in Marietta, which will benefit from a 90-day media services campaign; Southern Crescent Medical Center in Stockbridge, which will receive a full tech ‘makeover’; and Harlem ZenInc., a provider of skincare services in Atlanta, which will receive professional consultative support.

“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 Teresa Ward-Maupin, the senior vice president for digital and customer experience at Comcast Business. “I could not be more pleased to open this program to the entire BIPOC community and continue this positive momentum.”

The first phase of Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” focused on U.S. Black-owned, small businesses, those hit hardest by the pandemic according to a recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Comcast RISE brings 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 next phase of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in October to help strengthen small businesses hard hit by COVID-19, opens up eligibility to include Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)-owned, small businesses. They can apply at www.ComcastRISE.com.

“(The year) 2020 has been a challenge. We literally could not create anything new, because we couldn’t get our suppliers to make it. This has drastically slowed down the opening of our store, COOL Creative, which was slated to open in the spring,” said Johanne Pradel Wilson of Hollywood, Florida. “We’re thankful that we now have the opportunity to promote the store through TV advertising from Effectv, so we can let people know that COOL Creative is here and open for business.”

Comcast RISE is part of a larger $100 million Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative that Comcast launched this summer. 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.

James Lavallee, the vice president of sales marketing for Effectv, said, “Fueling the success of small businesses is what our business is all about. We partner with them to better understand their needs and what we can do to help them grow. Our success is their success,” said “That’s why, at a time when so many in our small business communities are struggling, it’s incredibly humbling to be able to give back and share our knowledge and resources with those hardest by the pandemic. We want to help our partners and communities rise.”

Comcast RISE consists of the following main components:

  • A media and technology resources program: This pillar combines Effectv’s renowned media platform and marketing expertise, its award-winning creative agency, Mnemonic, and state-of-the-art technical support from Comcast Business to help small businesses foster and elevate growth. Recipients will receive help with their marketing, media campaigns, and creation of 30-second commercials, as well as equipment and technology upgrades, including:
    • Consulting: Advertising and marketing consultations with local Effectv marketing, research, and creative teams to gain insights on how to grow your business.
    • Media: A linear TV media campaign to run over a 90-day period.
    • Creative Production: Turnkey :30 TV commercial production for their businesses.
    • Technology Makeovers: Computer equipment and Internet, Voice and Cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period. (Taxes and other fees may still apply for tech makeover services.)
  • Business resources to help with curated content: Comcast has launched the Comcast RISE destination complete with aggregated small business news, tips, insights, and more on the X1 platform. The destination is designed to help businesses grow by empowering them through education, inspiration, and entertainment. Just say “Comcast RISE” into the X1 voice remote.
  • Grants: In early 2021, Comcast will be awarding grants of up to $10,000 each for U.S.-based small and diverse businesses that have been in operations for three to five years.

 

More than 700 Black-owned small businesses, including around 95 in Metro Atlanta, were awarded grants from Comcast RISE, an initiative to provide resources and support to businesses affected by the pandemic. (Photo: COMCAST)

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