Comcast RISE has provided over $60 million in grants, marketing and technology services to more than 6,700 small businesses owned by people of color – including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian Americans – since it launched in November 2020. Locally, three small businesses in central Pennsylvania have received awards, bringing the area’s total to 12. The latest round of recipients include:
- Glitz & Glam, Harrisburg
- Grooming By Juanita, Wyoming
- Ward of Health, Harrisburg
Of the Comcast RISE recipients named to date nationwide, nearly 70% have been businesses owned by women of color, spurring Comcast to take a deeper look into the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. Furthering our efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive, Comcast has expanded eligibility to all women-owned businesses, as of January 16, 2022.
According to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, with more than 1,800 new businesses being started every day. That’s nearly five times the national average. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed.
“As we continue to rebuild and emerge from the effects of the pandemic, small businesses will continue to be the backbone of our economy – and we must take every opportunity to help them thrive,” said Aaron Mimran, Regional Vice President, Comcast Business. “Looking forward, this expansion will enable Comcast RISE to further empower and strengthen even more small businesses that are the heart of our local communities across the country.”
Juanita Harris, founder of pet-grooming service Grooming By Juanita in Wyoming, Pa., is one of the many helped by Comcast RISE. “Maintaining a small business during the pandemic was a challenge,” she said. “Comcast’s support has been so helpful to our success and will support us as we grow our four-legged clientele.”
Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment, is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive. Over the next 10 years, Comcast has committed $1 billion to programs like Comcast RISE and partnerships that will reach an estimated 50 million people with the skills, opportunities and resources they need to succeed in an increasingly digital world.
Looking forward, Comcast RISE will continue to empower and strengthen even more racially and ethnically diverse small businesses that are the heart of our local communities across the country.