Katie Urich moved from North Hills to Tarentum last year to expand her digital marketing studio.

The self-proclaimed “old house geek” bought a large Victorian house in East Tarentum and is well integrated into the community, supporting small businesses, she said.

A graduate of North Hills High School and Chatham University, Urich began his career with non-profit organizations in the arts community.

“Because we had a small budget and I was a one-woman marketing department, I decided to use those skills and work with my own clients to see if we could make it happen,” she said.

She feels she made the right decision. Her business, Wildess Digital, focuses on social her media strategy for nonprofits and small businesses, and also provides consulting. She has a growing clientele and enjoys helping them grow their business.

“I love change and I like learning new things, so social media marketing made sense to me. With the platform change, it remains interesting,” she said. “Tarentum attracted me because the community seems to really support new things happening in the area.”

Last week, when her business turned four years old, Urich learned that she had won a $10,000 grant through the Comcast RISE program for women and minority entrepreneurs.

“It’s a big surprise, but a very nice birthday present,” said Urich.

Comcast announced a $1 million grant to be distributed to 100 small businesses in Allegheny County. Winners were selected from among his more than 9,500 entrepreneurs nationwide selected through the Comcast RISE program, which provides marketing, technology and funding.

Other recipients include Sprezzatura from the Millvale restaurant. Kiwi Speech at Oakmont. Sharpsburg Art in Motion. Pinks Tiny Paws in Verona.

Jennifer Saffron, owner of Sprezzatura, said she was grateful for the grant.

County executive Rich Fitzgerald said it’s no secret that the pandemic has hurt small businesses.

“Thanks to these resources, we look forward to having these entrepreneurs part of our community for years to come,” he said.

Comcast RISE stands for Representation, Investment, Strength, Empowerment. Launched in 2020 as a response to help minority small business owners most affected by the pandemic. In 2021, Comcast announced expansion of eligibility to allow women-owned small businesses to apply.

“We are still figuring out how to use the grant money,” says Urich. “Looking at the list, I feel like I’m in good company and I like it.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. She can reach Tawnya by email at tpanizzi@triblive.com or on her Twitter. .

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