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Donation Allows NKY Restaurant Relief Effort to Resume

A $10,000 donation from the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC) will allow the NKY Restaurant Relief program to resume.

Originally designed as a two-week program to provide local restaurants and bars with $1,000 grants, the relief effort awarded $37,000 to area businesses last month.

Grants were awarded through a drawing in which businesses were entered by customers who purchased gift cards or certificates valued at $50 or more, and then had receipts uploaded to the relief fund website.

A CEO-based civic organization, the CRBC is comprised of 90-plus chief executives from primarily mid-cap companies in the Greater Cincinnati region. The CRBC exists to “ignite and accelerate” transformational change in the Greater Cincinnati community by leveraging unique assets, leadership and collective resources to produce long-term positive impact, growth and prosperity throughout the region, a news release said.

“The CRBC is excited to back this important effort and provide additional support for Northern Kentucky restaurants,” said Gary Lindgren, president of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee. “Our members appreciate the great work of our partner organizations to launch this program and we are glad to be part of the team."

NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper is excited to see the fund return knowing the good it will do for one of the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This fund was intended to be a two-week initiative to help our local restaurants and bars; what it has become, however, is a testament to the spirit of not just our local businesses, but our entire region,” Cooper said. “We thank the members of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee for their generosity to allow us to continue showing how the entire region is united in this fight, both sides of the river.”

The NKY Restaurant Relief fund operates as follows: After purchasing a $50 minimum gift card/gift certificate to any qualifying Northern Kentucky restaurant or bar, an individual can upload a copy of their receipt, address and contact information to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website. This automatically nominates the restaurant or bar for a one-time $1,000 grant, which is chosen via a random drawing. Restaurants need to be locally owned and operated to be eligible. All previously entered purchases will be eligible for these new grants, as long as the restaurant has not been previously selected as a winner.

The fund was originally slated to be a two-week program to award $1,000 grants to 20 establishments. It was quickly expanded to three weeks, and 37 recipients received $1000 grants each. Coupled with the $44,000 in gift card/restaurant receipts initially uploaded to the fund’s website, the fund has made an economic impact of just over $80,000 thus far.

Now re-launched, the fund will award 10 additional $1,000 grants to local restaurants and bars during the live broadcast of the NKY Chamber’s podcast on Thursday, May 14.

Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume hopes the general public’s participation will allow the fund to reach a benchmark previously unforeseen.

“With the generosity of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, our past donors and gift card purchases submitted by the public, we are nearing $100,000 in economic impact for one of our industries hardest hit by COVID-19,” Crume said. “Our local restaurants and bars are deeply ingrained in our community – these are places with deep roots that have served as the home for memorable moments for so many – and the response to this initiative is phenomenal.”

Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson shares Crume’s sentiment.

“This donation proves the work our community does goes far beyond business as usual,” Grayson said. “This initiative would never have worked without the support of both the general public and our local businesses. This shows that, when united, Northern Kentucky is far more capable of meeting our challenges head-on and with grand generosity.”

To upload a receipt to nominate a local bar or restaurant, visit the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website at nkychamber.com/nkyrestaurantrelief.

-Staff report