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Covington Awards Funds to Three More Restaurants as Program Ends

The City of Covington announced that its grant program to help businesses during the pandemic has ended with all the funds exhausted.

The $625,000 Emergency Business Assistance Program was funded with federal CARES Act money funneled through the city and $250,000 from the Kenton County Fiscal Court. But with Congress declining to include local governments in the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package approved several weeks ago, the city’s grant program could not be renewed, a news release said.

The program started in September, with thirteen recipients announced in December.

“We reviewed the applications in the order in which we received them and funded all those whose expenses qualified for reimbursement according to the guidelines,” said Suzann Gettys, the city’s business retention & expansion specialist who was project manager of the program. “It was a pretty clear-cut process; unfortunately, at some point the funds were simply exhausted.”

The city is not accepting more applications but will hold on to any it received and could not fund, just in case Congress or the new administration frees up more money, a news release said.

“But we’re not holding our breath,” Mayor Joe Meyer said. “Covington joined local governments across the state and across the nation in strongly urging Congress to help us help our small businesses, but our lobbying fell on deaf ears and local governments have been snubbed to date.”

In addition to the 13 businesses previously announced, the city was able to make these “awards” before the funds ran out:

  • Anchor Grill, $50,000.
  • Riverside Korean Restaurant, $50,000.
  • Zapata Cantina, $41,500.

City economic development officials urged businesses to look into other assistance programs that are available.

-Staff report

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