Small businesses: Apply for $$$ by Friday

One of the startups awarded a rent subsidy during the last round of Small Business Program awards was Gumdrop, right, a soon-to-open extension of Handzy Shop + Studio on Pike Street. Gumdrop will sell baby/kid clothing, books, toys, games, and gifts.

City offering help renovating exteriors, paying startups’ rent

COVINGTON, Ky. - Friday is the deadline for small businesses in any part of Covington to apply for the latest round of City funding offered through two popular incentives programs.
Covington hopes to award about $35,000 during this round under a 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.
This is the second of four rounds of funding for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. During the first round earlier this summer, the City awarded almost $47,000 for four rent subsidies and four façade improvement loans.
In the last three years, the City has invested over a quarter of a million dollars - $276,707 - in the Small Business Program, said Ross Patten, Covington’s Economic Development Project Manager.
“That in turn has leveraged over $2.2 million of private investment, has brought new businesses and has enhanced the vitality of our business corridors throughout Covington,” Patten said. “We are proud of that accomplishment and look forward to this upcoming round.”
Patten said news of the Small Business Program’s success has spread beyond Covington’s borders. “I regularly get phone calls and emails from other cities looking to duplicate all or part of our program,” he said. 
Time is tight, so Covington businesses who are interested in applying should contact Patten at (859) 292-2144 or in order to submit their applications by the end of the day Friday, Oct. 25.
For more detailed information about the programs, visit the City’s website HERE.
A year ago, the City Commission doubled the amount of money allocated to the Small Business Program and expanded the geographic eligibility area to include businesses located throughout the entire City. Recently, it made additional changes to increase the program’s impact on job creation and investment, as well as streamline the process for recipients.
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