Delaware entrepreneurs get a boost with RISE program

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A Newark courier and delivery service that dates back to when founder Levonne Mathis was 9 and ran McDonald’s errands for a basketball team, is getting a big boost from Comcast.

The Wilmington travel agency, founded to help women travel together and tick destinations off their bucket lists, and a Newark business school with programs in information technology and project management will also be reinforced.

These are three of more than two dozen small businesses in Delaware receiving support from the Philadelphia-based telecommunications giant through its Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment program. Launch of Comcast TO GET UP in November 2020 to help small businesses owned by people of color access marketing, technology and funding. In January, it added women-owned businesses to eligible people. Details are at www.comcastrise.com.

RISE, which has so far helped 6,700 businesses in 34 states, has stopped taking new apps for its grants of $10,000. It now focuses on consulting, media or creative production services or a technology makeover.

These three companies all won ads produced by Comcast and 90 days of local channel airtime. Their ads started running in late January and have already generated inquiries from potential customers.

let me run errands of Newark requested an ad that highlights “our multitude of services,” said business manager Jami Frye. “Executed perfectly.” And there are plenty of them.

Mathis’ first client, ten years ago, was his grandmother, who sent him shopping. “One thing we will never give up is the love of serving our elders,” he said.

Leslie Berry, owner of Amazing Travel Chicks, a travel agency that has grown to run multiple trips a year, also received a RISE announcement. | PHOTO COURTESY OF LESLIE BERRY

written on the company’s website.

The site talks about solutions to day-to-day and time-consuming tasks, including pickup and delivery, home management, calendar management, business services and

personalized races. Other pages list dozens of services, including personal shopping, handyman waiting, home registration while owners are away, event planning, paper shredding, and digital mailboxes.

Leslie Berry founded Berry Amazing Travel LLC in 2016, which does business as Amazing travel chicks. It became possible to orchestrate multiple trips a year, plus “an occasional brunch, night out, or day trip,” she writes on the company’s website. “Although we are majority women, we never forget the men who love to travel too.”

The Comcast RISE ad focused on hosted groups, but the day Berry was interviewed, she received a query from someone who had seen the ad and was interested in a custom travel group. “People are ready to get out of the house,” she said. “And their question is how can I do this safely?”

The Delaware IT Institute also received a few calls from the announcement, said Amanda Alli, who founded the school in 2016. “It’s a great opportunity,” she said of the publicity, their first in this form. “Pretty exciting. They did everything for us.” The institute, according to www.deitinstitute.com, offers programs for Delaware Department of Labor clients, personal training, and corporate training.

Overall, Comcast has provided more than $60 million in marketing and technology grants and services, with the value of marketing and technology packages varying, a company representative said.


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