13 businesses get $478K in survival help

Up Over bar in MainStrasse Village is among the emergency grant recipients. 

Covington, Kenton Co. partner to give pandemic-related grants 

COVINGTON, Ky. – Thirteen Covington businesses will receive grants ranging from $11,200 to $50,000 to help them survive the pandemic, courtesy of an Emergency Business Assistance Program jointly funded by the City of Covington and the Kenton County Fiscal Court.
Four additional businesses could receive grants once their applications are reviewed.
The program’s primary goal is to protect jobs – particularly those for financially vulnerable families – and the businesses either employ low- and/or moderate-income residents or provide goods or services to them.
“By investing in these businesses now, we hope both to avoid the need to fill dozens of empty storefronts after the pandemic has passed and to mitigate the negative financial impact on our families,” Mayor Joe Meyer said. “To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for most small businesses would be an understatement. That’s why the City has invested over $600,000 in programs designed to help keep the lights on at shops, restaurants, bars, gyms and salons.”
The City announced the grant program Sept. 30 but quickly realized that the applications far surpassed the $350,000 in federal funds it had set aside. So Kenton County agreed to contribute $275,000 to the pool of funds.
“When the Mayor told us about the program and the substantial requests, of course we wanted to step up and help out,” Kenton County Judge-Executive Kris Knochelmann said. “Businesses in Covington have been hit especially hard this year between the pandemic and the closure of the Brent Spence Bridge, and we see this as a great opportunity for the Fiscal Court to partner with our largest city to provide meaningful assistance whose impact can be seen immediately.”
Meyer said the County’s decision greatly expanded the reach and impact of the program, one of several the City has implemented to provide assistance to businesses during the pandemic.
In all, the City received 17 applications with requests totaling $729,860, said Jeremy Wallace, the City’s Federal Grants Manager. Four of the applications are still under review.
A staff committee reviewed the requests and made recommendations totaling $479,880:
·      Parlor on 7th (restaurant) -- $20,000.
·      Braxton Brewing Co. -- $30,000.
·      Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar -- $14,500.
·      Up Over (bar) -- $28,000.
·      FamilyCare Counseling Solutions -- $50,000.
·      Olde Towne Tavern -- $48,380.
·      Molly Malone’s Irish Pub -- $50,000.
·      Otto’s (restaurant) -- $42,000.
·      Frida 602 (restaurant) -- $37,800.
·      The Standard (restaurant) -- $48,000.
·      Larry’s Dive Bar -- $11,200.
·      Blinker’s Tavern -- $50,000.
·      The Delish Dish (catering) -- $50,000.
As part of the grant program, applicants must work with the Kentucky Small Business Development Center on business coaching, contingency planning, and accessing federal disaster loans.

The City used money it received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to fund the program. Federal guidelines spelled out eligible activities/uses of the money. Among those was to avoid job loss caused by business closures related to social distancing. 

“Covington has been fortunate to receive various pots of money to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its businesses, families, and services,” Wallace said. “Together, we hope to all get through these devastating times.”

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