Sabrina Scott-Pappas, the owner of ES (Extra Special) Beverages, was recently the beneficiary of COMCAST’s RISE (Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment) grant. The grant awards small businesses that are owned by women and people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others. Scott-Pappas is a significant supporter of the grant, and attests to its ability to open doors for many women and people of color, particularly after COVID’s devastating effect on small businesses.
Scott-Pappas recently sat down with The Atlanta Voice to discuss the particulars of the COMCAST RISE grant, and how the grant significantly impacted her business.
The Atlanta VOICE: How did you become aware of the COMCAST RISE Grant?
Sabrina Scott-Pappas: I became aware because we both had exhibitions at the virtual entrepreneur summit held by Black Enterprise during the onset of COVID.
AV: What were your initial thoughts when you heard about the grant?
SSP: I thought it was a fascinating program. I mean, something directly helping minorities who were chiefly impacted by COVID. I had heard that at least 51% of the nation’s African American businesses had shuttered altogether during COVID. Any help we could get was stellar, as far as I’m concerned.
AV: How complicated was the application process?
SSP: The application process was very simple; [there] were straightforward questions online on their dedicated website.
AV: Describe what you felt when you were notified that you would be a recipient of the COMCAST RISE grant.
SSP: I was elated. You never think you’re going to be selected for something. So, when I was selected, it did two things for me: one, it made me feel appreciative of the grant itself, and it also, as a small business, it gave me some recognition that we exist. I really appreciated it.
AV: How did receipt of the COMCAST RISE grant change your business?
SSP: The receipt of the COMCAST grant changed the entire trajectory of my business, because with that grant, I was able to draw the attention of a big box warehouse chain, and obtain a contract to sell my product in their stores. And that’s next level for me.
AV: What are your thoughts on how the grant has impacted businesses run by women and people of color?
SSP: I think the impact that this grant has on women-owned companies is growing and has yet to be fully realized, because the grant itself is expanding. And through efforts like this, where [COMCAST] is multiplying their efforts to reach out to women-owned business, I think that this grant will have a pivotal impact on small businesses run by women throughout the country.
Applications are now being accepted for the COMCAST RISE grant; the deadline for submission of the grant is June 14. More information and the applications to apply for either the grant program or marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.