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13 Covington Businesses Awarded Funds Through City, County

The City of Covington and Kenton County partnered to distribute thirteen grants supporting local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The businesses in the city will be awarded funds ranging from $11,200 to $50,000 through the Emergency Business Assistance Program.

An additional four businesses' applications are still being reviewed.

The program is designed to protect jobs with an emphasis on financially-vulnerable families and businesses that employ low- and/or moderate-income residents.

“By investing in these businesses now, we hope both to avoid the need to fill dozens of empty storefronts after the pandemic has passed and to mitigate the negative financial impact on our families,” Mayor Joe Meyer said. “To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for most small businesses would be an understatement. That’s why the city has invested over $600,000 in programs designed to help keep the lights on at shops, restaurants, bars, gyms and salons.”

The city announced the program at the end of September but the applications submitted requested funds that surpassed the $350,000 in federal money set aside by the city. The Kenton County fiscal court this week approved $275,000 in its share of federal funds to boost the program.

“When the mayor told us about the program and the substantial requests, of course we wanted to step up and help out,” Kenton County Judge/Executive Kris Knochelmann said. “Businesses in Covington have been hit especially hard this year between the pandemic and the closure of the Brent Spence Bridge, and we see this as a great opportunity for the Fiscal Court to partner with our largest city to provide meaningful assistance whose impact can be seen immediately.”

Meyer said the county’s decision greatly expanded the reach and impact of the program, one of several the city has implemented to provide assistance to businesses during the pandemic.

In all, the city received seventeen applications with requests totaling $729,860, said Jeremy Wallace, the city’s federal grants manager. 

A staff committee reviewed the requests and made recommendations totaling $479,880:

·      Parlor on 7th -- $20,000.

·      Braxton Brewing Co. -- $30,000.

·      Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar -- $14,500.

·      Up Over -- $28,000.

·      FamilyCare Counseling Solutions -- $50,000.

·      Olde Towne Tavern -- $48,380.

·      Molly Malone’s Irish Pub -- $50,000.

·      Otto’s -- $42,000.

·      Frida 602 -- $37,800.

·      The Standard -- $48,000.

·      Larry’s Dive Bar -- $11,200.

·      Blinker’s Tavern -- $50,000.

·      The Delish Dish (catering) -- $50,000.

As part of the grant program, applicants must work with the Kentucky Small Business Development Center on business coaching, contingency planning, and accessing federal disaster loans.

The city used money it received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to fund the program. Federal guidelines spelled out eligible activities/uses of the money. Among those was to avoid job loss caused by business closures related to social distancing.

“Covington has been fortunate to receive various pots of money to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its businesses, families, and services,” Wallace said. “Together, we hope to all get through these devastating times.”

-Staff report

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