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January 12, 2022

Comcast opens aid program to all women-owned businesses

Photo | Mike Mozart via flickr

Starting next week, all women business owners can apply for grants and business assistance from Comcast as part of a major expansion of the cable provider’s RISE program.

The application period for Comcast Rise opens on Jan. 16, according to a spokesperson for Comcast Western New England. Applications can be made at

Those chosen for RISE get either a tech makeover or an ad campaign to increase awareness in local markets. Comcast estimates it has provided $60 million in grants, marketing and technology services since the program’s inception. 

Initially designed for minority entrepreneurs, the program was extended this year to all women business owners. 

Comcast launched the RISE program in 2020 and has assisted 6,700 businesses nationwide and 100 in New England, according to the company. Nearly 70% of all Comcast RISE recipients to date have been businesses owned by women of color. 

Inesta Belardo of B&A Benefits Solutions, an independent insurance agency in Waterbury, received a new computer for her business last year from the RISE program. 

“To receive new, upgraded technology and equipment from Comcast Business removed an obstacle for our growth and it’s one less thing to worry about,” Belardo said. 

The RISE program’s goal is to help 13,000 small businesses nationwide by the end of 2022.

Marketing services under the RISE program are provided by Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and its creative agency, Mnemonic.

Comcast’s business division provides technology makeovers including equipment and technology upgrades, computer equipment and internet, voice and cybersecurity services for up to 12 months. 

The program is part of Comcast’s $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding, the company said in a statement.

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