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100 Oakland Small Businesses Owned by People of Color to Each Receive a $10,000 Grant from Comcast RISE Totaling $1 Million

Small Businesses Can Receive a Technology Makeover or Marketing Services

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The Comcast RISE Investment Fund will award $1 million in grants to 100 Oakland small businesses (1 to 25 employees) owned by people of color, including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian American, among others. Comcast RISE – which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment – has awarded marketing and technology services to 228 businesses in California so far.

To help drive outreach and awareness about Comcast RISE opportunity and provide additional support and training, Comcast has also awarded a $50,000 grant to the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

The announcement was made October 1 during a virtual press conference with Mayor of Oakland Libby Schaff; California Assemblymember Mia Bonta; Alameda County Assessor Phong La; President & CEO of the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce Cathy Adams and owner of Mannequin Madness in Oakland and previous Comcast RISE recipient Judi Townsend.

“The economic effects of the global pandemic have been felt worldwide including significant impacts here in Oakland,” said Barbara Leslie, president & CEO of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. “We know that our small, local, woman-owned and people of color businesses – that are responsible for creating the beautiful tapestry we call home – have been disproportionately impacted by COVID. We applaud Comcast’s vision, through the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, to ensure that small businesses that exist today will be a part of Oakland’s economic and social fabric tomorrow and many years to come.”

“Like many others, my small business was impacted by the pandemic. Thanks to the Comcast RISE program, I can reach new audiences,” said Judi Townsend, owner of Mannequin Madness and Oakland resident. Townsend benefited from the program twice, once with the production and placement of a TV commercial and then with a technology makeover. “The application process was much more straightforward than other grants. I encourage my fellow eligible business owners to apply for the grant and technology or marketing makeovers.”

The Comcast RISE Investment Fund monetary grants are intended to help small businesses owned by people of color grow as they navigate the challenges of the pandemic. The Investment Fund is the latest extension of Comcast RISE, the multi-year, multi-faceted initiative launched in 2020 to provide small businesses owned by people of color the opportunity to apply for marketing and technology services from Comcast Business and Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable.

Through Comcast RISE, the company also announced it will support 13,000 small businesses, owned by people of color, with monetary grants; a TV campaign, production of a TV commercial or consulting services from Effectv; or computer equipment, internet, voice or cybersecurity from Comcast Business by the end of 2022.

Oakland is one of six cities nationwide that was selected to award a $10,000 grant to 100 local businesses from the Comcast RISE Investment Fund, for a total of $6 million across 600 businesses.

“When we launched Comcast RISE, we knew a profound need existed in many of the communities we serve,” said Kristeen Cominiello, vice president of Comcast Business, Comcast California. “We now have seen firsthand how the program’s marketing and technology resources benefit the business owners who are working hard to rise above what happened in 2020.

“Today, with Oakland being chosen as a Comcast RISE Investment Fund grant city, we are so excited to see how this infusion of funding will further propel businesses. We know the impacts will be meaningful and far reaching,” said Cominiello.

Comcast RISE 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.

In addition, grant recipients will receive a complimentary 12-month membership to the coaching program from Ureeka, an online platform for entrepreneurs, to help them build skills, gain more customers and become financially stable.

For more information or to apply (starting Oct. 1, 2021) for either the grant program or marketing and technology services visit www.ComcastRISE.com.

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Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

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Newsom Admin Takes Steps to Stabilize California’s Troubled Insurance Market

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

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As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

Newsom said the proposal speeds up approvals for rate increases and addresses rising costs resulting from incidents like wildfires. Newsom said, under his plan, the Department of Insurance will be required to decide and respond to rate increase requests within 120 days. The plan also calls for streamlining the process for filing for increases; builds in two 330-deay extensions for finalizing rate changes; and provides room for insurers to appeal decisions.

“We need to stabilize this market,” Newsom said. “We need to send the right signals.

Proponents, mainly insurance industry representatives like the Personal Insurance Federation of California, are praising the Governor’s actions while consumer advocates warn that the plan is a threat to public intervention rights California’s Prop 103, a 1988 state law adopted to protect state residents from “arbitrary insurance rates and practices.”

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara thanked Newsom for backing his office’s plan.

“To safeguard the integrity of the insurance market – composed of consumers, homeowners, and business owners – we must fix a system suffering from decades of deferral and delay,” said Lara in a statement. “This measure is one of several parts of a comprehensive plan to enact long-overdue regulatory reforms. The Legislature can do its part to support my reforms by giving this proposal a fair and full consideration, including public input. By enacting this important part of our strategy in statute, the Legislature can help us meet the urgency of the moment.

Lara is working on a longer-term strategy to shore up the insurance market that is expected to be released in December.

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Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

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