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Comcast creates fund to aid small businesses

Comcast Corp. has launched an initiative to help strengthen and empower small businesses hard hit by COVID-19.

Known as Comcast RISE, the program is designed to help thousands of small businesses over the next three years with grants, marketing and technology upgrades, including media campaigns and connectivity, computer and voice equipment, as well as free marketing insights to all applicants.

The program will roll out in waves, and starting this week U.S.-based Black-owned small businesses can apply for marketing and technology support and equipment to jumpstart and help them sustain business operations. In addition, all small businesses are able to sign up for free marketing insights and resources.

"Black Businesses, which never recovered from the Great Recession, have been ravaged by COVID-19 with Black-owned businesses twice as likely to close as their white counterparts," said Ron Busby, President/CEO, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. "Comcast RISE will help Black businesses adapt to the changing landscape and position them to be leaders in America's burgeoning online to offline economy."

Comcast RISE stands for "Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment," and brings together two of the company's brands —Comcast Business and Effectv— to help empower business owners with the tools, expertise and resources needed to navigate the economic effects of the pandemic. In the coming months, Comcast will be awarding grants of up to $10,000 each for U.S.-based small and diverse businesses that have been in operations for three to five years.

RISE is part of a larger $100 million Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative that Comcast launched this summer. In June, Comcast NBCUniversal announced the development of a comprehensive, multiyear plan to allocate $75 million in cash and $25 million in media over the next three years to fight injustice and inequality against any race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability.

Visit www.ComcastRISE.com for more information.

 

Barge Design's workplace cited

Barge Design Solutions, which has a Chattanooga office, has been certified as "a great workplace" for the fourth time by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work, according to the company.

Over each of five years participating in the process, Barge has seen an increase in the percentage of employees who agree the firm is a great place to work, the company said. According to this year's anonymous survey, 94% of employees affirm that to be the case. Some 92% of Barge's 400-plus employees participated in the survey this year.

Michele Herlein, chief human resources officer, said the company has been "successful in continuing to attract and retain great talent, and our voluntary turnover rate is among the lowest in our company's history."

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