Comcast brought together Washington, D.C. small businesses owned by women and people of color for a celebration after entrepreneurs each received $10,000 grants as part of the Comcast RISE Investment Fund.
Why it matters: Small businesses were hard hit by the pandemic – particularly those owned by women and people of color:
- According to National Bureau of Economic Research, Black-owned small businesses suffered the steepest decline (41 percent), followed by Hispanic and Asian American-owned small businesses.
Catch up quick: Comcast RISE was launched in 2020 to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by COVID-19.
- Since its inception two years ago, Comcast RISE has supported 13,000 small businesses nationwide and awarded more than $110 million in monetary, marketing, and technology grants to small businesses owned by people of color and women in 1,321 cities across 38 states.
- This is the second year in a row Comcast RISE has awarded $1 million in total grants to Washington, D.C. small businesses.
- To date, Comcast RISE has supported more than 320 small businesses in Washington, D.C. with monetary, marketing, and technology grants.
- An interactive map shows Comcast RISE businesses nationwide.
What they’re saying: Washington, D.C. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie attended the reception and highlighted the importance of Comcast’s investments in small businesses:
- “It’s particularly special when you have businesses like Comcast that recognize the value of these sorts of investments,” said Councilmember McDuffie. “Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy.”
Comcast RISE recipient Elisa Bennaton – Founder and CEO of The Ministry, an independent, specialty coffee and wine bar in Capitol Hill – spoke at the event about the impact of the grant on her business:
- “I cannot thank Comcast RISE enough, this is a lifeline thrown at us,” said Bennaton. “This will help us take a step forward.”
The big picture: Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion through its Project UP initiative to programs and partnerships that will reach tens of millions of people with the skills, opportunities, and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.