Comcast RISE Launches Grant Program for Struggling Small Businesses

Photo courtesy of Comcast

Applications will be accepted until the end of June.

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Small businesses in Portland that are working hard to gain traction after the pandemic can now apply for a recently announced grant package that provides the funding and support they need to give them a boost.

Established in 2020, the Comcast RISE (Representation, Investment, Strength, and Empowerment) Initiative aims to support the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs that are committed to uplifting their local communities. The program provides grants to businesses in five cities across the United States, Portland included.

In light of a recent study that showed that 50% of small business owners are working more hours now than they were a year ago, the grants this year will be particularly helpful for small businesses as they transition from pandemic recovery to expansion and growth.

Grant packages include business consultation services, educational resources, a $5,000 monetary grant, creative production, media placement schedule and a technology makeover. Requirements include being established for three years or more, having 100 or fewer full- or part-time employees, and being independently owned and operated.

“Grants like this are essential because small businesses are essential to our community. Small businesses inspire us, they help us to shop with intention and they share a lot of love,” says Sarah Shaoul, founder of Bricks Need Mortar. “By supporting small businesses who could use some extra support with these resources, they are helping the entire community flourish.”

“The RISE grant was extremely important for me and my business. It came right on the middle of pandemic in a time that I was fighting to keep my business open, and it brought me a huge encouragement and hope that everything would be ok. As small business owners we very often feel lonely and hopeless,” says Natasha Busse, owner of Dogville PDX. “The RISE grant gave me the help I needed in a very difficult time and the energy that I needed to keep going. I cannot compete with the big names; I am a small business, but I know I provide an exceptional service. Having the help of a big name like Comcast gave us the confidence we needed to keep going.”  

Applications are being accepted now through June 30. Grants will be announced in August 2023 and 100 small businesses will be awarded with them in September 2023.

“Being a women-owned and Asian-owned business post-Covid is extremely difficult,” explained Dr. Lani Doser, owner of SkinwiseRx. “Initiatives like the Comcast RISE grant allow business owners to get ahead, reach further and follow their dreams. I would encourage all Portland-area small businesses to apply.”