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Technology makeover bridges digital divide

Comcast RISE helps small businesses thrive

Keacean Phillips-Ramson, owner of Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine, 441 N. Killingsworth St., recently received a technology upgrade from Comcast Rise, including new computer tablets for customers to place their orders, free internet and other services. The program is geared to advance digital equity and to minority, women and underrepresented small business owners.


Keacean Phillips-Ransom, owner of Jamaican Homestyle Cuisine, 441 N. Killingsworth St., recently learned that she is a Comcast RISE recipient and will be receiving a technology makeover from Comcast Business.


The support includes free new computer tablets for simplifying the process for her customers to place their orders, along with new internet and phone services at no charge. Comcast RISE was created to support minority- and women-owned small businesses which have been deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.


“I’ve applied for so many grants to keep my business running,” Phillips-Ransom said. “Being a minority, woman-owned small business is a disadvantage,” she says. “It’s unfair and definitely hurts. But I tell everyone I know about Comcast RISE. Ignore the fear or anger inside of you,” she urged. “Put your foot in and apply.”


Comcast recently announced a major expansion of the program to now include all women-owned businesses regardless of race or ethnicity in Comcast services areas nationwide, including Oregon and Washington.


“This expansion furthers our efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools they need to thrive,” said Amy Keiter, director of external communications for Comcast Oregon/SW Washington.


According to a study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, 42% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by women. However, according to the same study, women-owned businesses are growing at only half the rate of those run by men, namely because women struggle to access capital and other resources to help them succeed.


“Independent small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” said Mark Nugent, Director of Business Development for Comcast Oregon/SW Washington. “And today, more than ever, small businesses owned by women and people of color are hurting.”


Since the program’s inception, Comcast has announced more than 50 Comcast RISE recipients in the Oregon/SW Washington region. To learn more or apply, go to www.comcastrise.com.

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