Small businesses are still dealing with the ongoing impact of the pandemic, but there is help.
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and the owner of NBC 6, is looking to help minority-owned small businesses through their Comcast RISE grant program.
Natalia Morales is the owner of Lollipaws Grooming Services. She told NBC 6 she opened her shop on Commerical Boulevard and Bayview Drive right before the pandemic and thought she wasn’t going to make it.
“It hit me but I decide not to close down because you know bills can’t wait," Morales said.
Small businesses, especially those run by people of color, have struggled.
Early on in the pandemic, the number of active Black-owned businesses declined by 41%, Hispanic-owned businesses by 32%, and Asian-owned businesses dropped by 25%.
Morales says her business is just starting to pick up.
“Basically I survived with references and word of mouth,” she said.
But there is help for people like Natalia. Comcast's RISE program helps Black, Hispanic, Indigenous, and Asian entrepreneurs. One hundred businesses in the Miami-Dade and Broward area will be awarded $10,0000 dollar grants.
“$10,000 grants, this will help them move forward help them during these hard times that we've all faced in the last year or so,” said Eric Knowles, who is the President of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce.
Knowles says this money could be especially helpful to those who didn’t get federal assistance during the pandemic.
“What happened during COVID a lot of companies received PPP or EIDL, but if they weren't in business prior to the pandemic hitting, they could not receive any of those funds,” he said.
Along with the $10,000, businesses that are selected could also receive assistance with media, consulting, creative production, and a technology makeover.
Natalia says she’ll take the help if she can get it and is thankful her business is still around.
“Thank God I made it, I made it with the support of the people around," she said.
If you’re a small business owner, you can apply for the grant on Oct. 1. To apply and for more information, click here.