Courtesy of Comcast
Courtesy of Comcast

Comcast RISE, a new program by Comcast aimed at strengthening thousands of small and diverse businesses hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, has been announced by the cable TV conglomerate.

As of Tuesday, U.S.-based Black-owned small businesses can apply for marketing and technology support and equipment, according to Comcast spokesperson Sandra Arnette, who urged all small businesses to sign up for free marketing assistance.

“Comcast RISE, which is part of a larger $100 million Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative that Comcast launched this summer, brings together Comcast Business and Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, to help empower business owners so they can navigate the economic effects of the pandemic,” the company said in a statement.

Small businesses have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. According to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of U.S. active business owners dropped from 15 million to 11.7 million from February to April.

The study also found that Black-owned small businesses suffered the steepest decline (41 percent), followed by Hispanic- and Asian American-owned small businesses, Comcast noted in its press release.

Ron Busby, U.S. Black Chambers president, said that Black businesses, which never recovered from the Great Recession, have been ravaged by the pandemic.

“While many businesses have responded by moving online or retrofitting to allow for social distancing, many Black business owners have had to halt their operations completely,” Busby said. “Comcast RISE will help Black businesses adapt to the changing landscape and position them to be leaders in America’s burgeoning online to offline economy.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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