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10 More NKY Restaurants Awarded Relief Fund Grants

Ten more restaurants were awarded $1,000 grants from the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund in what is expected to be its final round of giving.

The relief fund is a joint effort of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-Ed, and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky. The fund was extended an additional round thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee.

The recipients of the final ten $1,000 grants were:

·Bellevue Bistro (Bellevue)

·Carabello Coffee (Newport)

·El Rio Bravo Mexican Restaurant (Alexandria)

·Grassroots and Vines (Fort Thomas)

·Hofbrauhaus Newport (Newport)

·Honey Hole Bar and Grill (Alexandria)

·Velocity Bike and Bean (Florence)

·Villa Mocha (Villa Hills)

·York Street Café (Newport)

·Zoup! Florence Square (Florence)

"It was an unbelievable experience to open my email and learn that we had received this money,” said Justin Carabello, president of Carabello Coffee. “To the amazing people at the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund, thank you!  Your generosity and thoughtful support during this time is incredibly meaningful. As we prepare to welcome guests back into our cafe, this boost could not have come at a more crucial time.”

Established to assist local restaurants and bars forced to temporarily cease in-person dining because of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, the fund saw some $47,000 in donations. Combined with $44,500 in gift card/gift certificate receipts uploaded to the fund’s website from supporters across the region, the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund effort made a total economic impact of $91,500, all of which went directly to more than 120 local bars and restaurants.

Donors to the fund included Main Street Ventures, the Dave and Cindy Knox Family Fund, the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee, Woods Hardware/ACME Lock, Marilyn Scripps, Urban Sites, and Julie Kirkpatrick.

While uncertain if the Restaurant Relief Fund may continue, NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper is certainly proud of what it has been able to accomplish.

“Two weeks, then three weeks and now a fourth – the NKY Restaurant Relief fund has continued to grow and expand for simply one reason: Our region cares about not just about businesses, but the individual men and women who own and work in them,” Cooper said. “The legacy of this fund will not be in the amount of funds donated, but what it was able to do in terms of helping people in a dire time of need and what it says about the spirit of Northern Kentucky.”

Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume shares a similar sentiment regarding the fund’s success.

“While the NKY Chamber, Tri-ED and Horizon may have started the fund, watching how our community came together and injected new energy into it to keep it going for these additional weeks has been truly amazing to witness,” said Crume. “Seeing what we can do in a time of great uncertainty should give everyone hope and inspiration for our region’s future.”

Like her partners, Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson is hopeful the region will take notice of what it has achieved together through the fund and look for more ways to continue supporting its own.

“We do not have to give lip service when we use the word ‘together’ regarding Northern Kentucky’s ability to persevere through tough times; the outpouring of support in both the business community and among the general public has proven that,” said Grayson. “This effort shows our region is more than up to the challenges we face ahead.”

“We are so grateful for this grant,” said Villa Mocha co-owners, Alison Spears and Daniel Richardson. “We plan to use it to help us accommodate for the adjustments recommended by Governor Beshear for the reopening of Kentucky; like hand sanitizer and complementary gloves for our customers. This will also help us to just breathe a little easier over the next few weeks.

"We thank you all so much. This was a wonderful way to promote small businesses and to alleviate some of the stresses we are all facing. We are so proud to be a part of this community and we hope to serve it for many years to come.”

“On behalf of The Honey Hole and all of our staff, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to The NKY Chamber of Commerce, NKY Tri-ED, and Horizon Community Funds of NKY,” said co-owners of The Honey Hole, Dave and Angela Roth & Dan Litmon. “We have worked tirelessly to keep not only our business afloat, but also keep our entire staff employed, while trying to help another local business in our community as well.  The support that we have received from our community, along with programs like The Restaurant Relief Fund, are what has kept us alive!  Thank you to everyone that took time out of their day to stop by and purchase a gift card to get us entered…you definitely showed us what a great community support system we have!” 

-Staff report