Comcast has awarded $1 million in grants to 100 small businesses owned by people of color, including Black, Hispanic, Asian American and Indigenous owners, among others, in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund. These recipients were chosen from among thousands of small business owners in South Florida that applied for the $10,000 grants in early October.
Comcast RISE is celebrating its first anniversary since launching in October 2020 as a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative to support small businesses by providing resources and support as many continue to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Investment Fund is an extension of Comcast RISE and to date, has awarded $11 million in grants. Comcast RISE stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment.”
The 100 South Florida’s Comcast RISE Investment Fund grant recipients are a diverse group including every type of company from accounting, human resources and IT consulting firms to restaurants and caterings companies to health and wellness businesses and more. To see the entire list to recipients, click here.
Grant recipient Jackie Michel spent a decade working in the apparel industry in South Florida before leaving her job as a technical designer to start her own lingerie and loungewear company, Bare Reverie, in Miramar in October 2019. She also does alterations on all types of clothing and teaches one-on-one sewing classes.
“Everything was going well for those first six months from October until March 2020 – then everything changed so drastically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plans I had for growing my business, including traveling to trade shows or hosting in-person events and sewing workshops, were no longer an option,” Michel said. “But ultimately, I was able to adjust and adapt my plans and operations. Surprisingly, the alterations part of my businesses ended up growing because of the pandemic! Many people who were stuck at home finally got around to cleaning out their closets and found items bought before the pandemic they’d forgotten about and brought them to me to be properly fit and tailored.”
Michel plans to use the RISE grant money toward manufacturing resources and purchasing office space in South Florida.
In addition, grant recipients are receiving a complimentary 12-month membership to the coaching program from Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to help them build skills focusing on how to strengthen a company’s foundation, gain more customers and become financially stable.
“Small business is truly the backbone of our economy, so we must take deliberate action to help them thrive,” said Rich Rollins, Vice President of Business Services for Comcast’s Florida Region. “Looking forward, because of how the program is structured, Comcast RISE is expanding to help even more entrepreneurs, further empowering and strengthening small businesses that are the heart and soul of our communities across Florida and the country.”
In recognition of the program’s first anniversary, Comcast also announced the expansion of eligibility for RISE to include all woman-owned businesses within the company’s service footprint across the country.
Comcast today also revealed that 191 Florida small businesses were selected to receive Marketing & Technology Services through the Comcast RISE program for this round. These recipients are part of nearly 6,700 entrepreneurs nationwide who have been selected as Comcast RISE awardees since November 2020 and will each receive one of the following:
- Local broadcast advertisements over a 90-day period in partnership with EffecTV, Comcast’s advertising sales division
- Production of a 30-second television commercial, also from EffecTV, that will be run on local broadcast stations over a 90-day period
- A technology makeover from Comcast Business
Applications for the next round of Comcast RISE Marketing & Technology Services awards are being accepted online through January 15, 2022.
For more information, including complete program rules and eligibility requirements, visit www.ComcastRISE.com.