Tarentum woman’s digital marketing studio marks 4th anniversary with $10K grant – TribLIVE

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

The self-described “old house nerd” bought a large Victorian home in East Tarentum and has settled nicely into the community, which she said is supportive of small businesses.

A graduate of North Hills High School and Chatham University, Urich began her career working for a nonprofit in the arts community.

“The budget was small, and I was kind of a one-woman marketing department, so I decided to take those skills and see if I could make it happen working with my own clients,” she said.

She feels like she made the right decision. Her business, Wildess Digital, focuses on social media strategies for nonprofits and small businesses and also offers consulting. She has a growing clientele and enjoys helping them make their businesses prosper.

“Social media marketing makes sense for me because I really love change and I like learning new things. The platform changes keep it interesting,” she said. “Tarentum drew me in because the community seems like it really supports new things happening in the area.”

Last week, as her business marked its four-year anniversary, Urich learned she had earned a $10,000 grant through the Comcast RISE program for women and minority entrepreneurs.

“It’s a huge surprise, but a pretty nice birthday present,” Urich said.

Comcast announced it will award $1 million in grants to be split among 100 Allegheny County small businesses. Recipients are among more than 9,500 entrepreneurs nationwide who have been selected through the Comcast RISE program, which provides marketing, technology and capital.

Other recipients include Sprezzatura, a Millvale restaurant; Kiwi Speech in Oakmont; Art in Motion in Sharpsburg; and Pinks Tiny Paws in Verona.

Jennifer Saffron, owner of Sprezzatura, said she is grateful for the grant, “which will allow our team to lift our heads up from the restaurant industry grind and think forwardly about how we can help meet food access needs in our community.”

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said it’s no secret the pandemic adversely impacted small businesses.

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

Comcast RISE stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment. It launched in 2020 as a response to help minority small-business owners who were hardest hit by the pandemic. In 2021, Comcast announced an expansion to eligibility that enables women-owned small businesses to apply.

“I’m still wrapping my mind around how to use the grant,” Urich said. “Looking at the list, I feel like I’m in good company and I like that.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya by email at tpanizzi@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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