City to help 5 more small businesses

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The Annex by Greenline Salon operates at 130 W. Sixth St., adjacent to its original location.

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

COVINGTON, Ky. – A City incentive program that has helped 55 small businesses in Covington with first-year rent or façade improvements since the beginning of 2018 is scheduled to add five more businesses – from five different neighborhoods -- to the list on Tuesday.
 
The consent agenda of the Covington Board of Commissioners includes recommendations from City staff for four rent subsidies and one façade incentive for a collective total of $28,500 in help.
 
Recipients are a video production firm, a boutique public relations firm, a hair salon, a human resources technology company, a personal trainer, and a nutrition club.
 
The Commission set aside $150,000 for the Small Business Program in this year’s budget, leaving $111,300 available for the last two rounds before the end of the fiscal year June 30, 2021.
 
“COVID continues to challenge us all, but we are still laser-focused on supporting Covington's small-business growth, filling storefront vacancies, and improving the look and feel of our neighborhoods,” explained Ross Patten, assistant economic development director at the City.
 
The proposed projects fall in five different neighborhoods: Eastside, Old Town/Mutter Gottes, the Central Business District, Westside, and MainStrasse Village:
 
  • B Squared Partners LLC would receive a $6,000 forgivable façade loan toward a $19,053 exterior improvement project at 823 Scott Blvd. The building is home to the video production firm Spotted Yeti Media and the boutique public relations firm Scooter Media, and the ownership group consists of the women who founded and own the two companies, Molly Berrens and Shannan Boyer, respectively. The project would use two local contractors to enhance lighting, signage, and the awning and add flower boxes. The group has already invested $93,000 in interior renovation. 
“A positive streetside presence and visibility is of huge value to small businesses like ours,” Berrens said. “This opportunity to beautify our façade is greatly appreciated.” 
  • The Annex by Greenline Salon – a salon/spa that specializes in hair, lashes, microblading, and Aveda at 130 W. Sixth St. – would receive a $6,000 rent subsidy spread over 12 months. The business signed a five-year lease for a 1,456-square-foot expansion adjacent to its original location and is open for business. It represents a $127,544 investment. The Annex employs four full-time equivalents and would hire five more full-time equivalents.  
  • Cloverleaf – a nationally known human resources technology company that opened in September at 434 Madison Ave. – would receive a $6,000 rent subsidy spread over 12 months. This represents a $188,000 investment, and the company signed a three-year lease for a 3,955-square-foot office. Cloverleaf has 17 employees and expects to create 10 more jobs. The company offers automated team-based coaching to improve performance and team management for companies. 
  • ModelFit – a small, private studio that provides personal training in a group setting – would receive a $4,500 rent subsidy spread over 12 months. The owner signed a two-year lease in a 700-square-foot storefront at 331 W. Pike St. that has sat vacant since 2018. It opened in September, represents a $38,000 investment, and expects to create one additional job. The studio works with four clients at a time and caters to the individual needs of each trainee. 
  • AIM Nutrition – a nutrition club that serves healthy meal replacement shakes and herbal teas, as well as Herbalife retail products, and offers free wellness checks – would receive a $6,000 rent subsidy spread over 12 months. The company signed a five-year lease for a 980-square-foot storefront at 617 Main St. and is working on a construction build-out. With a total investment of $93,100, the woman-owned business hopes to open in January 2021 and create five to 10 jobs. 
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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 façade or rent programs should contact Patten at (859) 292-2144 or rpatten@covingtonky.gov. The applications themselves and information about the programs can be found on the City’s website, HERE.
  
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