Help for 4 more small businesses

Dixie Chili on Madison Avenue was awarded a forgivable loan to help pay for improvements to its exterior.

Program awards $$ for rent, façade work; new round to begin 

COVINGTON, Ky. - Four more small businesses were awarded financial help from the City of Covington on Tuesday night as leaders continue to invest in both fledgling businesses and long-standing establishments located across the City.
The recipients consist of a new café focusing on “healthy” foods, a legendary chili restaurant, a relocated freight brokerage firm, and a recently rehabbed two-story commercial building that will house a salon.
The businesses - located in the Wallace Woods, Lewisburg, Central Business District, and MainStrasse Village areas - will receive help with either rent or façade improvements.
“Once again, our Small Business Program is doing what we designed it to do: Give tangible help to an eclectic array of businesses in different parts of the City,” said Ross Patten, Covington’s Economic Development Project Manager.
At the same time, Patten said, the City has more help to give: Applications for the next round of funding are being accepted now, and he urged people not to delay.
“Based on past years, we expect many more applications once the weather improves, so we encourage applicants to start planning early for their Spring and Summer projects,” he said.
“And you don’t have to be located downtown,” Patton added. “In fact, we want to continue using the Small Business program to encourage investment outside the urban core in our neighborhood commercial districts.”
The four new awards were approved by the Covington Board of Commissioners during its weekly meeting Tuesday.
They are: 
  • COR Freight LLC will receive a $6,000 rent subsidy over a one-year period. The freight brokerage firm moved two jobs to 525 W. Fifth St. last summer and will add two more employees. This represents a target industry as outlined in the City’s recently adopted economic development action plan. 
  • Haven Café LLC will receive a $5,298 rent subsidy over a one-year period. The café, which will be opening on the ground floor of The Bradford Building at 332 Scott Blvd., will focus on healthy, sustainable and grab & go foods. 
  • Dixie Chili, which has served its unique brand of Cincinnati-style chili with a Greek influence at 2421 Madison Ave. since 1971, will receive a $3,546 forgivable façade improvement loan to help install a new custom electric sign and paint accent trim on its building. 
  • Lewisburg Gateway LLC will receive a $5,634 forgivable façade improvement loan to help replace storefront windows, add transoms, and install maintenance-free flowerboxes to the front of the building. The two-story commercial building - recently bought and renovated as part of the City’s public-private initiative called The Ripple Effect - will house Salon Jade. 
The two rent subsidies and two façade improvement loans represent the second round of funding in Fiscal Year 2020 under the City of Covington’s popular Small Business Program.
The projects will collectively will add 10 jobs to the city and leverage a 9 to 1 investment of private to public dollars, Patten said, proving the value of the City’s investment of tax dollars.
Over the last three years, the City has invested nearly $300,000 -- $297,185 - in businesses through the Small Business Program.
The rent subsidy program offers a grant of up to $500 a month for first-year rent. The façade program is a forgivable loan of up to $6,000 to match investment dollar-for-dollar in exterior improvements to a commercial building.
Businesses who are interested in applying for either should contact Patten at (859) 292-2144 or The applications themselves and information about the programs can be found on the City’s website, HERE.
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