Small businesses: Apply for $$$ by Friday

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COVINGTON, Ky. - Friday is the deadline for small businesses in Covington to apply for the latest round of funding offered through two popular incentives programs offered by the City.
 
Covington hopes to award about $35,000 during the second quarter of the year under the competitive application process, which offers up to $500 a month for first-year rent or a forgivable loan of up to $6,000 to match investment dollar-for-dollar in façade improvements to a commercial building.
 
Under the first round of funding, awarded in September, the City gave over $38,000 to seven small businesses, including a new fitness center, a historic tavern, and a sporting goods store. (See story, HERE).
 
"We designed this program to focus on the smallest of small businesses," Mayor Joe Meyer said after the City Commission voted to approve the first round of awards. "These businesses are the backbone of our city, they give us our uniqueness and our creativity, and they give us the bulk of job creation over time."
 
Time is tight, so businesses who are interested should contact Economic Development Project Manager Ross Patten at (859) 292-2144 or rpatten@covingtonky.gov in order to submit their applications by Oct. 26.
 
For more information and the applications, visit the City's website HERE.
 

During the first round of funding announced in September, the owners of the building on West Southern Avenue that houses Custom Woodworking Unlimited in Latonia received a forgivable loan to help with façade improvements.


The Covington City Commission doubled the amount of money for the Small Business Program in this fiscal year's budget and approved the request by the Economic Development Department to expand the geographic eligibility area to include businesses located throughout the entire City.
 
The year's incentives are also the first awarded under a new evaluation system approved in June that favors businesses that will bring the best return to the City and have the biggest positive impact on surrounding neighborhood business districts.  
  • A building owner that applies for a façade improvement loan is rated on whether the project is ready for construction, the ratio of matching funds, whether the work will be done by Covington contractors and suppliers, the visibility of the location, whether the building was previously vacant and for how long, and whether the project complements recent investment in the surrounding area. 
  •  A business that applies for a rent subsidy will be rated on its visibility, the strength of its business plan and financial documentation, the number of jobs it will create, whether its product or service fills a need in the surrounding area and whether it complements the mix of businesses in that area.
 
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