Our guest today is Kalyn Hove Senior Vice President at Comcast Twin Cities talking about the Comcast RISE program. Comcast RISE is a broad initiative that launched in 2020 to provide eligible small businesses owned by people of color including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian Americans, with the marketing and technology resources and tools they need to grow their businesses and thrive for years to come.
The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is giving the Twin Cities $1 million in grants to give 100 small businesses owned by people of color each $10,000. The Comcast RISE Investment Fund is focused on small businesses that have been in business for three or more years with 1-25 employees. Businesses eligible include those in the seven-county Twin Cities metro. (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties).
Beginning on October 1- 14, eligible businesses in the Twin Cities can apply for a $10,000 grant at www.ComcastRISE.com. A total of 100 grants in the Twin Cities, will be awarded in late November 2021.
Please share and spread the word about applying for the grant today at www.ComcastRISE.com
*Sponsored Episode by Comcast Twin Cities
Stephanie Hansen 00:00
This podcast is sponsored by Comcast rise abroad initiative that launched in 2020. To provide eligible small businesses owned by people of color with the marketing and technology, resources and tools they need to grow their business and thrive for years to come. Applications are open now and will be available through October 14. Each Twin Cities business can apply for a $10,000 grant at Comcast rise.com. A total of 100 grants in the Twin Cities will be awarded in late November to eligible businesses in the seven county Twin Cities metro area of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties. The Comcast rise investment fund is focused on small businesses that have been in business for three or more years with one to 25 employees. If you have a business, please apply. If you know someone who has a business or you patronize someone that has a business that you think meets these qualifications, please encourage them to apply at Comcast rise calm.
When you run your own business, you got to be ready for opportunities at a moment’s notice.
We are one three to design, and we are in the business of helping other businesses. The demand for our services skyrocketed when COVID hit
our ability to serve as our clients was suffering.
We couldn’t believe it when we received the grant from the rise program.
We got an office space immediately.
Now we have a place to collaborate with each other. And our clients Game Changer
apply for a chance to receive a $10,000 grant from Comcast rise because when opportunities rise, so should you
Comcast helped us now we can help our community.
Available in Houston, Miami, Oakland, Seattle, the Twin Cities and Washington DC, apply October 1 through October 14 at Comcast rise calm and keep rising.
Stephanie Hansen 02:13
Hello, and welcome to the makers of Minnesota. I’m Stephanie Hansen. We love to talk with cool people doing cool things. And today’s podcast is actually sponsored by a cool company. It is Comcast to I’ve had the pleasure to work on a couple of programs with and they are doing something really cool with local entrepreneurs and local makers. And we wanted to get the word out it is the program that we’re calling Comcast rise. And it’s a broad initiative that they’ve just launched and we have Caitlin Hall here to talk about it. Today she is with Comcast. Welcome to the makers of Minnesota kailyn.
Kalyn Hove 02:48
Good morning. Thank you so much, Stephanie, for having me. Join me today.
Stephanie Hansen 02:52
I’m really excited. I want to know where the Comcast rise program initiated and why it’s so important to you guys.
Kalyn Hove 03:02
Oh, well, really, maybe first, what I should point out is rise champions representation, investment, strength and empowerment for small businesses, you know, rise really champions representation, investment, strength and empowerment for small businesses, specifically owned by people of color as we look at the impact of the pandemic. And as we look at the impact of the civil unrest, unfortunately, small businesses owned by people of color were disproportionately impacted. And so this is just one way that Comcast can make a difference, then the rise program, we are actually going to be giving out 1 million in grants to local Twin Cities, businesses, there will be $10,000 grant given to 100 small businesses.
Stephanie Hansen 03:53
That is so cool, because if you listen to this program, you hear all the time that a big barrier for small business in general, women owned businesses, businesses of people of color, is that there isn’t the capital investment and that the small business loans are hard to obtain. So I applaud you for I guess we’re hearing the term putting your money where your mouth is, you know, yes, hard, cold cash and $10,000 for a startup is is quite an investment. How do people apply for these grants, the application
Kalyn Hove 04:25
process is fairly easy. What you will do is you will go out to www Comcast rise.com and the application process will be open October 1 through the 14th. So I encourage anyone who’s interested to ensure they get out and apply during that two week period and then these grants will be awarded in November.
Stephanie Hansen 04:50
Alright, so we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to release this podcast on Friday. So it will be open when you guys hear this. And what do you see from a contract? perspective as challenges for small businesses right now, obviously investment but are there other things that you’re seeing, like potentially technology challenges?
Kalyn Hove 05:09
Yes, most definitely. You know, we I think there’s digital inequities just across the board. You know, as we launched this program, we really launched it in a couple different facets. One initially was giving technology makeovers to small businesses, um, you know, many small businesses don’t have the state of the art equipment and technology needed to really compete effectively. And so we were doing things such as providing Internet and Voice services in cyber security for a 12 month period. I think as you know, unfortunately, throughout the pandemic, and civil unrest, cyber criminals have really taken advantage of a lot of small businesses, too. So that is one thing we were doing. And then we were also offering marketing services through our partner effect TV, providing advertising creative agency to small businesses. So those things were really key. But what we found is every business’s needs are different. And so giving a $10,000 grant that they can really leverage in whatever way their business most needed, that investment really allowed them to make an impact. And so that’s why there is this $10,000 grant, literally no strings attached, it is theirs to use as they see fit for their small business.
Stephanie Hansen 06:32
What I like about this grant is it targets companies that have one to 25 employees that have been in business for three or more years. And that’s kind of a critical juncture as a small business owner, because they say that there’s a really small percentage of small businesses that make it over five years, so that three to five years is like it’s past a hobby, you’ve invested in your business, you’ve now probably got an employee or two or 10. And you’re trying to figure out how to scale up to that next level. And it is, I find, as a business person myself that it is really in this critical piece, that the financial investment usually needs to come because it is technology or marketing or getting the word out that will put them into the next space,
Kalyn Hove 07:14
you nailed it. That is such a critical time for small businesses. And we see if they can survive past that year five, right odds of them having a successful long term business are much greater. So that is why we did have that requirement for three years in business in one to 25 employees, that tends to be the subset that really needs the extra support. During that time, our hope is that as we kind of rebuild following the pandemic, and civil unrest that we build a more fair and equitable business community than we’ve ever had before. And I think this is a great way as we help support these small businesses who have only been in business for, you know, a short amount of time three to five years, for example.
Stephanie Hansen 08:00
Yeah, and I really, I think, when you look at the civil unrest, and you look at how the pandemic has impacted business, and also employees and families, when you think about how we’re going to unravel that, it takes everyone’s personal commitment to their career, their families, we’ve seen a ton of jobs shift, and people going more to more flexibility work from home, I really think we’re changing the the way that Americans work for the next 10 to 20 years. And I think we’re gonna see so many more small businesses and people that are startups, I can just feel it, I work with a lot of food and beverage folks, and the amount of investment that we’re seeing from new people in the field, new Asian folks, new black folks, new indigenous people, more women coming to the fold, and really kind of taking the reins and saying it’s time for me to start my own thing. I think that’s really exciting. And I think it’s exciting for the marketing piece too, because we’re gonna have access to so many new, unique products and cool opportunities.
Kalyn Hove 09:06
It is, you know, we talk about diversity a lot, right as a as a country. But when we think about diversity in business, the thought that goes into that and the impact it can make on our economy. Not only that, maybe the communities in which these businesses reside, but the broader economy. It’s really exciting to see what’s coming to the forefront.
Stephanie Hansen 09:28
Yeah, there was a really cool story today that just released that Delta Airlines is going to be carrying a local vodka maker on all of their planes. And it’s someone that we interviewed in season one, it’s de Nord social spirits with Chris Montana and his wife Chanel, and their business burned down in the pandemic. And you know, something like Delta really saying, like, Look, we’re gonna make this commitment and we’re gonna put our money where our mouth is will not only change his business and the business for his employees, but it will also change his company. Because he’s going to be building a facility in North Minneapolis and move his distillery to South Minneapolis for the tap room, and just what that does, how that bleeds out into the community, when you partner with the right people, I really think that that’s what this does is it puts the money to the boots on the ground that allows them to hire that allows them to do more to propel their business. So I’m really excited about this. Thank
Kalyn Hove 10:25
you, I surely AM, too. And the news about delta to me, I think, you know, we know no single organization can solve historic and systemic inequities overnight, right. But companies like Comcast and delta, in my opinion, have a responsibility to step up right now. And you know, this is one way in which we are stepping up, and I’m hoping you’ll hear in the upcoming months more ways that Comcast is stepping up to serve, you know, those individuals that maybe need the extra support as we just kind of worked our way out of this pandemic. And specifically here in Minnesota, the way civil unrest hit us, um, there’s so much that we can do. It’s interesting, we’ve given a few of these technology make overs out already to some small businesses, and the stories we’re hearing they bring tears to my eyes as they talk about the impact, I think we often forget how badly these small businesses need our support.
Stephanie Hansen 11:21
Yeah, I’m really excited for what you guys are doing. It’s Comcast rise.com. If you are someone that qualifies for this type of program, please go ahead and fill out the application. But I think even more than that, some of this is just it’s too, you know, right. We have to play the whole you know, game. And you know, me, I know you, you know, other people that listen to this program or other entrepreneurs, it’s throughout the state of Minnesota. So go ahead and spread the word for people that you know, that are in small businesses. And again, the only qualifications are that you’ve been in business three years, and you have one to 25 employees in the business
Kalyn Hove 11:56
needs to be owned by a person of color. I want to make sure everybody understands that you don’t have to be a Comcast customer to apply for this. There’s no ties in that way. And it’s available to any eligible business that’s in the seven county Twin Cities metro area. So in no good Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott in Washington counties are what’s open for this first round of investment funds that we’ll be giving out the first million dollars,
Stephanie Hansen 12:23
will you then be circling back and kind of featuring stories of some of these people I’m assuming
Kalyn Hove 12:29
most definitely, we’re excited to share them. I personally am so excited to see the stories unfold to see the impact that these investments will make on these small businesses and will most definitely share those stories with you and others. So thank you for helping us get the word out. I can’t stress enough how important it is that individuals help spread the word for this. So if it’s a business, you’ve frequented somebody know, like you said, Stephanie, we’re also interconnected. And that’s what’s going to make the greatest impact right now on ensuring every single one of these $110,000 grants are put in the hands of the small businesses who need it.
Stephanie Hansen 13:09
All right, well, I’m a Comcast customer. So thank you, from the bottom of my Comcast, heart, Comcast rise.com. Go ahead and get your application filled out. And we will wait to hear more stories in the future about how you guys are helping to uplift businesses at this critical time. So thank you,
Kalyn Hove 13:25
thank you for being a Comcast customer. And thank you for helping tell our story. Alright, we’ll talk soon have a good day.
We couldn’t believe it. When we received the grant from the rise program. We got an office space immediately. Now we have a place to collaborate with each other and our client apply
October 1 through October 14 at Comcast rise.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 grant. keep rising