By Caelin Grambau, University of Pittsburgh English Writing & Spanish double major
This May, Pittsburgh was selected as one of the five cities nationwide to be a Comcast RISE Investment Fund city.
The Comcast Rise Initiative was originally launched in 2020 as a response to help small business owners of color who were hit hardest by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Comcast converted the initiative to also support any and all women owned small-businesses, meaning that women small-business owners across the nation were now eligible to apply.
Comcast’s goal with RISE is to “help address the persistent inequalities women [and people of color] continue to face in accessing the resources and funding that are critical to success,” according to a press release from Comcast’s Director of Public Relations, Josephine Posti.
This July, RISE awarded 100 small businesses in Allegheny County with $10,000 grants, totalling $1 million.
In a statement from Comcast, Toni Murphy, the Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Keystone Region voiced his support of the initiative. “As we continue to rebuild from the effects of the pandemic, small businesses still need our support. They are the backbone of our local communities, and we must take every opportunity to help them not only survive, but to thrive,” he said. “When we launched Comcast RISE in 2020, we knew a profound need existed in many of the communities we serve, and we have now seen firsthand how the resources from Comcast RISE are continuing to benefit small businesses two and a half years since the program’s inception.”
Even Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey chimed in, calling the grants the “key” to transformation and new pathways for the city.
“The Pittsburgh businesses who benefit from Comcast’s $1 million in grants are hard-working, vital contributors to our community. These grants are investments for our future and are key to helping transform Pittsburgh and create new pathways to prosperity and a thriving city,” Mayor Gainey said.
Highlights among the Allegheny Co. grant winners include 12 restaurants, 15 retail businesses, 20 healthcare, fitness and wellness businesses, 8 consumer services and 6 business services.
Comcast RISE exists to ensure the stability of small businesses, and as of this year, the program has awarded over $16 million in grants and $75 million in support for marketing and technology services, which served over 9,500 entrepreneurs in 704 cities over 37 states.
The 100 Allegheny County businesses that received grants will all be awarded $10,000 dollars to help sustain and promote their businesses. For a full list of the 2022 grant recipients, please see the Comcast RISE Investment Fund Financial Recipient list.
In addition to the grant recipients, we at Presente – Pittsburgh Latino Magazine are happy to announce that we are the recipients of a financial and technology award from Comcast. We would like to thank Comcast and the Comcast RISE program for what they have done to support the small businesses of Allegheny County and the nation. Thank you, Comcast!