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Davis Journal

Comcast RISE award benefits local business

Dec 17, 2020 04:27PM ● By Becky Ginos

LAYTON—Marcus Johnson is passionate about being a barber. He owns the ManCave Barbershop in Layton and treats everyone like family.

“I know their kids and they know mine,” he said. “They come in and tell us what they’ve done at school. I know them by name. It's like a hangout spot.”

Johnson has owned the shop for almost three years but when the pandemic hit he was forced to shut down for five weeks. “We came back at half capacity,” he said. “The community loves our shop so they started coming in more times to keep us going.”

Now he’s receiving even more help as a recipient of the Comcast RISE award. “The program is based around small businesses,” said Johnson. “Sometimes small business owners get overshadowed and it’s hard to get our name out.They help us with ads that we often miss out on. The more visible you are the more people can contact you.”

Comcast RISE, which stands for “Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment,” is focused on U.S. Black-owned, small businesses, those hit hardest by the pandemic, according to Comcast Corporation.

“They set up cable and business internet free for one year,” said Johnson. “They also gave us a security system and iPads to set up the front desk. It’s not a money grant. This is even more valuable. It’s great what they’re doing to get my name out into the community.”

“We created Comcast RISE to partner with small businesses and give them access to tools to help them survive the pandemic and thrive,” Teresa Ward-Maupin, SVP for Digital and Customer Experiences at Comcast Business said in a release. “As we’ve gone through the selection process, it’s been so powerful to hear these business owners’ stories and see the tangible ways that we can help grow their businesses and impact their communities. I could not be more pleased to open this program to the entire BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community and continue this positive momentum.”

Johnson encourages more small businesses to take advantage of these programs. “They need to look for companies that actually look out for the little guy,” he said. “We’re still going through the process but I’m super excited to get it up and going. This is the last little piece so this COVID adventure is a little bit smoother.”

The support from the community has been amazing, he said. “Without them we wouldn’t be here now. It’s a community shop. People can come in and enjoy a couple of things and get a good haircut in between.”