Aztec Imports and NWSignWerxs in Auburn are among 100 small businesses in King and Pierce Counties receiving $10,000 grants from Comcast RISE. Comcast RISE launched in 2020 to help small businesses hardest hit by the economic impacts of the pandemic. Two years later, Comcast RISE has met its goal of supporting 13,000 small businesses nationwide by the program’s close at the end of 2022. During that time, Comcast RISE has provided over $2 million in monetary, marketing, and technology grants to strengthen and empower small businesses owned by women and people of color in Washington.
A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research cited that Black-owned small businesses were hardest hit, suffering the steepest decline, followed by Hispanic and Asian-American-owned small businesses. In addition, according to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, women-owned businesses have been growing at only half the rate of those run by men because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed.
Businesses like Aztec Imports and NWSignWerxs represent the backbone of our local economies. Small businesses make up 99.5% of all companies in Washington state. The grant recipients come from various industries, from restaurants to salons, dog groomers, and financial aid services. Each one will be able to use these grants to upgrade their businesses’ technology to better improve user and customer experience.
To continue highlighting program recipients like Aztec Imports and NWSignWerxs, Comcast is launching an interactive map to encourage consumers to patronize Comcast RISE small businesses in their communities. Comcast RISE is one of several programs that Comcast has overseen as part of Project UP that aims to close the digital divide and achieve digital equity. With the program’s commitment now fulfilled, Comcast looks forward to introducing a new phase of Comcast RISE in 2023, which will continue the company’s efforts and help an even broader range of small businesses while continuing to focus on diversity, inclusion, and community investment.
“We recognize that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and look forward to learning from this program as we find new ways to empower further and strengthen even more small businesses and entrepreneurs at the heart of our local communities. Comcast will be continuing its efforts to impact small businesses in 2023 positively. We have seen that many small businesses are shifting from pandemic recovery to long-term growth, so it is only natural for the program to evolve. The next evolution of the program will focus on helping businesses of all types accelerate growth. Its offerings will include complimentary marketing, technology, financial grants, business consulting, entrepreneurship training, and other services,” said Teresa Ward-Maupin, Senior Vice President, Digital and Customer Experience, Comcast Business.
Additional details about Comcast RISE in 2023 will be forthcoming. For more information on Comcast’s continuing programs and partnerships to advance economic mobility and open doors for the next generation of entrepreneurs, visit Project UP.