(BPT) - It’s not news that many small businesses are struggling to survive in light of the economic challenges imposed by the pandemic. In fact, research shows small businesses owned by Black, Indigenous and People of Color (aka BIPOC owners) have been hit even harder than others — and many are struggling to survive.
The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that between February and April 2020, the number of active Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, Latinx-owned businesses fell by 32% and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%. In comparison, small businesses as a whole declined 21%. All that is concerning, since small businesses create 1.5 million jobs annually and account for 64% of new jobs created in the U.S., according to the Small Business Administration.
To show support for struggling BIPOC businesses during the crisis, tech leader Comcast has made a three-year commitment to offer them complementary marketing support, advertising creative, production and media services and technology consulting through an innovative program known as Comcast RISE. Already, more than 700 companies in the 40 states served by Comcast have received such awards — and many more applications are encouraged, with awards to be announced quarterly.
“Small businesses have long been crucial to U.S. commerce and the healthy functioning of our economy,” explains Teresa Ward-Maupin, VP-customer and digital experience for Comcast Business. “Unfortunately, many are struggling just to keep their doors open during this extended pandemic. Comcast is proud to provide the marketing and technology resources that have already helped so many small businesses grow and move forward in spite of the challenges they’re facing.”
What exactly is being offered? Comcast’s assistance may include any of the following, depending on each recipient's needs:
Strategic consulting: Comcast’s local marketing, research and creative teams will help businesses form strategies for growth in the current environment.
Advertising assistance: Comcast specialists will help create TV campaigns.
Creative production: Comcast will assist with turnkey production of 30-second TV commercials while advising clients on media strategy and media placement schedules.
Technology makeovers: To support business recovery, Comcast experts will install computer equipment and provide Internet, voice and cybersecurity services. Business owners must be 18 or older, actively engaged in daily operations and in business for at least one year. The businesses must be independently owned and operated and employ 25 to 100 people, depending on the service requested.
Next year, BIPOC businesses may also be able to apply for monetary grants through the program.
Are you a BIPOC business owner who could use professional, customized help with marketing and operational strategies during this challenging time? Apply for the program today at ComcastRise.com.
Comcast Rise is part of a 2020 commitment by Comcast NBCUniversal to allocate $75 million in cash and $25 million worth of media in the next three years to fight injustice and inequality against race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability nationwide.