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Portland black-owned businesses get helping hand through Comcast RISE award

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — Eight black-owned small businesses in Portland are getting some big help in the next year. Comcast has awarded these businesses hit hard by COVID-19 with marketing resources or technology makeovers.

John Jackson just started his new restaurant in September called Heroes American Cafe.

“It’s kind of an eclectic mix of various treats. Everything from subs to burgers to fish and chips, we just kind of do it all,” Jackson said.

One month after opening in Portland, his business was vandalized in a protest gone bad. FOX 12 covered the story in October after his windows were shot out. In the days to follow, Jackson said his employees were frightened and on guard.

“They were uncomfortable for a while. They didn’t know if there would be around two,” he said.

Last month, Jackson applied for a Comcast RISE award to help him through the pandemic. The awards allow local black-owned businesses to receive consulting, media and creative production services, or technology upgrades at no cost. In late November, Comcast gave the award to 700 black-owned businesses across the country. That included eight businesses here in Portland and Jackson’s was one of them.

“In this business, it’s all about top of mind awareness and 90 days of being out there in front of people, that can only be positive,” Jackson said.

For Isaiah Bostic, it has also been a challenging year for his new business. This year, Bostic started his new food cart called Batter on Deck. He is also receiving the award, which will go to months of free advertising.

“I think it’s great because a lot of people are at a disadvantage and a lot of us don’t have the resources or don’t know how to get the resources to start a business or get things going,” Bostic said.

For Jackson and Bostic, this boost in exposure comes at a critical time for their businesses which have struggled to get off the ground during the pandemic.

“We’re looking at January launching ad campaigns which will uplift the business and get our brand out there and get us in front of people with a good message,” Jackson said.

Comcast is offering up another round of awards for businesses owned by black or indigenous people, or by people of color. To apply, visit the website.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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