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Allegheny County businesses owned by people of color, women eligible to receive a grant of up to $10K through Comcast RISE

Group photo at the Comcast RISE announcement
IEE Executive Director Bob Stein (left) with Comcast RISE partnering organization leaders Laura Zinski, Mon Valley Initiative CEO (second from left), Presley Gillespie, Neighborhood Allies President & CEO (third from right), and joined by Comcast senior vice president Toni Murphy (right) and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald (second from right) at the May 12 announcement.

PITTSBURGH, PA — Women and people of color in Allegheny County may be eligible for monetary grants up to $10,000 for their businesses as part of a newly announced program from Comcast, Comcast RISE.

The program, designed to provide direct assistance to businesses, or to help boost those businesses with marketing and technology needs, will award a total of $1 million to 100 small businesses in the county. Businesses that are eligible for the grant may have up to 25 employees, be based in Allegheny County, and be majority-owned by women and people of color, including Black entrepreneurs, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanic Americans.

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) is one of the three regional organizations selected to help business owners prepare applications for the awards. Neighborhood Allies and the Mon Valley Initiative are the other two organizations tapped by Comcast to help business owners with the application process.

“The Comcast RISE grants are great opportunity for the many eligible small businesses throughout our county, many of which were hard hit by the pandemic,” said Bob Stein, Executive Director of the IEE. “The IEE is honored to be a partner to help businesses learn about and apply for this support that can help these businesses grow and thrive.”

As a Comcast RISE partner, The IEE will offer at least one information session prior to or during the application window for businesses to learn more about the application process and receive help preparing their submissions.

“Comcast RISE will have a meaningful impact for the small businesses selected for the grants,” said Tonia Green, Senior Program Manager for the IEE’s Urban & Community Entrepreneurship Program (UCEP). “Whether it’s the Investment Fund support, marketing services, or technology improvements, businesses will be able to build stronger foundations for growth thanks to the program.”

The program was started in 2020 and has thus far provided more than $50 million in technology and marketing resources support to more than 8,000 businesses in 34 states. In 2021, more than twenty Pittsburgh-area small businesses received Comcast RISE grants, including some existing University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC) client businesses.

The Pittsburgh region is one of five Comcast-serviced metropolitan areas—in addition to Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Philadelphia—to be supported by the Comcast RISE program.

The Comcast RISE application portal will open on June 1 and will accept applications through June 14, 2022. More information on the program plus the application link can be accessed at https://www.comcastrise.com/. The grants will be announced at the end of July 2022 and awarded in August 2022.

For questions about the program or to inquire about help with the application from the IEE, business owners may contact Tonia Green at tgreen@innovation.pitt.edu.

For the nearly 30 years, The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE), part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has served businesses throughout Western Pennsylvania with a dynamic mix of consulting, education, and networking opportunities. Through its Small Business Development Center, PantherlabWorks, Urban & Community Entrepreneurship Program, Entrepreneurial Fellows Class, and Membership group for family businesses, the IEE strives to be an innovative leader in economic development in the region.