Comcast’s Keystone Region announced Tuesday its third round of Comcast RISE recipients in central PA, which includes three small businesses owned by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners, among others, in Reading, Harrisburg and Lancaster.
Recipients received either a TV campaign by Effectv, computer equipment, internet, voice, or cybersecurity from Comcast Business, as well as access to Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs with a specialized online networking community with educational resources, sources of capital, and vetted experts.
Since November 2020, nine entrepreneurs in central Pennsylvania and nearly 3,700 nationwide have been selected as Comcast RISE awardees.
In central Pennsylvania, new recipients include Pagoda Apparel/Cure Sports, LLC, in Reading, Ward of Health in Harrisburg, and Beauty by Judelyne Wellness Spa in Lancaster.
Located at 722 Cherry Street, Pagoda Apparel features custom apparel printing on T-shirts, hats, posters, and more. The downtown store front also offers a wide variety of Reading themed souvenirs.
As a RISE recipient, Pagoda Apparel received a technology upgrade from Comcast Business, which included new computer equipment, as well as internet, voice and cybersecurity services for up to a 12-month period.
“As a minority small business owner, you’re constantly grinding to make the business survive,” said Dele Olaewe, Owner of Pagoda Apparel/Cure Sports, LLC. “Comcast’s RISE program supports mom-and-pop-run businesses and this technology makeover will help Pagoda Apparel to make needed technology upgrades and stay competitive.”
Comcast RISE was formed in late 2020 to give small businesses owned by people of color, from bakeries and barber shops to childcare centers and cleaning services, the tools needed to not just survive, but thrive. The company recently announced it will support 13,000 small businesses by 2022.
“When we launched Comcast RISE, we knew a profound need existed in many of the communities we serve,” said Aaron Mimran, VP for Comcast Business, Keystone Region. “We now have seen firsthand how the program’s marketing and technology resources benefit the business owners who are working hard to rise above 2020, as well as their neighbors who share their commercial corridors, and their suppliers and customers up and down the resource chains.”
Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is part of an expanded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion commitment that Comcast announced last summer, as well as a coordinated cross-company effort to address digital inequities through sustainable programming and investments such as Internet Essentials and Lift Zones.
A key part of Comcast RISE is ensuring business sustainability. As such, Comcast has already invested more than $2 million in more than 20 community-based organizations and diverse chambers of commerce to provide additional support to small businesses owned by people of color.