By Megan Sayles,
afro business writer,
Comcast recently announced that as part of the Comcast RISE program, 100 Baltimore small businesses will be awarded a grant package of $5,000 in funding, business consultation, educational resources, media schedules, creative production and technology transformation. .
To be eligible for this program, businesses must have 100 or fewer employees, be headquartered in Baltimore, and have been in business for at least three years. The entrepreneur can apply for her grant package starting June 1, and applications will be accepted until her June 30.
“We are evolving the Comcast RISE program as we move out of the pandemic and as small businesses transition from pandemic recovery to growth and expansion,” said Christy Fox, vice president of Beltway Regional Communications for Comcast. Stated. “We are focused on enhancing and supporting the growth of small businesses.”
Comcast RISE was established in 2020 in response to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“RISE” stands for Representation, Investment, Strength, Empowerment. This is intended to provide relief to businesses hit hard by the pandemic’s strain on day-to-day operations.
In the first two years of the program, companies received either technology turnarounds, marketing grants, or investment grants. Overall, 13,000 businesses were affected and he received more than $110 million in monetary, marketing and technical resources.
In 2023, Comcast will expand the program to allow awardees to receive a comprehensive grant package that includes all of these grants.
In addition to funding, one-on-one consulting, and educational resources, grant recipients will receive a 30-second TV commercial and technology makeover, which will provide one year of internet, phone service, and cybersecurity support.
“Throughout the years of this program, we have learned how important it is to support small businesses in a comprehensive manner. , is very effective,” Fox said.
“But knowing how to create a business plan, getting consulting to grow your business, and using advertising and technology services are core to running a business from a day-to-day perspective.”
A third-party selection committee will evaluate entries and then send nominations to the Comcast selection committee. Judges will pay particular attention to the originality and persuasiveness of their responses, and will review applicants’ commitment to diversity, fairness and inclusion.
Comcast Rise winners will be announced on August 22nd.
Mother-daughter duo Dacia and Melanie Kavia are previous recipients of the Comcast RISE grant. Together, the women run Ice Queens, a snowball shop and bakery in Locust Point, Baltimore.
Dacia is the owner and Melanie calls herself “Mama Jar”. Sales for the pair surged during the warmer months of the 2020 pandemic, but operating expenses began to outpace net revenues in the fall months of the same year.
The Kabias predicted they would run out of money in the second year, so they began looking for grants. While checking her mail, Melanie found her Comcast bill containing a flyer about Comcast RISE.
Ice Queen earned a 30-second TV spot throughout the show.
“It was really encouraging to see our business, faces and products on TV after providing the content and photos to make the video,” Melanie said.
After RISE, Comcast continues to encourage Ice Queen to serve sweet treats at company events.
Mujahid Muhammad, President of KEYS Enterprises, also previously won a 30-second TV spot through Comcast RISE.
Founded in 2013, his organization consists of three independent organizations that provide treatment services, mentoring and staffing by local healthcare providers.
The TV spot helped garner support for Muhammad’s social enterprise and secured a $1 million state funding for a community healing village. Since then, KEYS Enterprises has raised an additional $4 million for this project.
“For black small businesses, there is a capital gap when it comes to advertising. There are also many black businesses that are failing,” Muhammad said.
“I believe that with large-scale advertising, there will be successful small businesses.”
Megan Sayles is an American Legionnaire rapporteur.