United Way: Comcast has plan to fight injustice, inequality

MIDDLETOWN — Without the help of corporate donors, Middlesex United Way simply would not be able to have such a great reach and impact in supporting our community.
Comcast and its employees have been committed United Way supporters for decades — both locally and nationally. They are a founding corporate sponsor, and always organize a highly successful employee giving campaign, resulting in thousands of dollars supporting our community in health, housing, education, financial stability and racial equity and inclusion.
One of the best parts of this relationship is how closely aligned we are with our shared values. Comcast understands the importance of giving back to their community, and has always held philanthropy in high regard. The company has increasingly generous in the midst of the pandemic and identified new ways to help in this time of need.
Comcast started offering 60 days of free Internet Essentials service to new customers and waived the eligibility requirement on past-due debt to help individuals get approved. They helped hundreds of schools bring internet services to students while learning at home. Their generosity continues to grow as this month they announced their efforts to help small businesses hard hit by COVID-19 by launching Comcast RISE.
Middlesex United Way is committed to ensure individuals and families live in an anti-racist, equitable and inclusive community. Along those same lines, Comcast has committed to a multiyear plan to fight injustice and inequality.
As part of this commitment from Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, Comcast is allocating substantial resources to help small businesses. Small businesses are vital to our community, and we know that businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and people of color have been impacted at a higher rate this year.
With that in mind, it developed Comcast RISE — a program that stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment. It is initially available for Black small business owners, and beginning Nov. 28, all BIPOC small business owners will be eligible to apply. In addition, all small businesses can sign up for free marketing insights and resources. In the future, the program aims to expand to other small business owners.
Comcast RISE offers marketing and technology makeovers, which may include media placements, marketing consultations, commercial creative production services, or technology services such as computer equipment, internet, voice and cybersecurity from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable, and Comcast Business, Comcast’s cable provider to small and mid-size businesses.
And, in the coming months, Comcast will be awarding grants of up to $10,000.
To learn more about the amazing work Comcast is doing, please visit comcastrise.com. There you can learn more about the application process, watch videos highlighting how small businesses are managing throughout the coronavirus pandemic and much more. For details on our cooperate sponsorship program, please contact Development Director Manny Martinez at manny.martinez@middlesexunitedway.org.
Kevin Wilhelm is CEO and president of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown.