NBCUniversal parent Comcast Tuesday went live with Comcast RISE, a program to help minority-owned small businesses hit by COVID-19 that offers grants, equipment, internet access, commercial production, free ads and marketing advice. It’s part of a broader $100 million initiative the conglom announced in June.
Comcast began testing the ‘Comcastrise.com’ portal last week and will start publicizing it today, asking for businesses to apply for help in four areas: marketing consulting, access to television inventory, creative production and technology upgrades. It will announce a group of winners each quarter. Businesses not chosen can re-apply. Winners of the first round will be announced Nov 28, Maria Weaver, CMO of Comcast Advertising, told Deadline. The goal is to touch “thousands of businesses,” she said.
Comcast is starting with U.S.-based Black-owned small businesses. The next wave of the multiyear program will expand eligibility to enterprises owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). All small businesses can sign up immediately for free marketing insights.
Comcast RISE is a piece of the larger Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative. It brings together Comcast Business and Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable. It’s available throughout Comcast’s large cable footprint.
“RISE really addresses a group and a population that we know has been so hard hit by COVID-19 … helping them get back on their feet,” Weaver said.