Small businesses: Apply for $$$ by Jan. 29

Covington’s Small Business Program has been used over the last few years to help entrepreneurs and small businesses like The Roost in Latonia.

City offering help renovating exteriors, paying startups’ rent

COVINGTON, Ky. – Small businesses in Covington have until Friday, Jan. 29, to apply for the next round of City help in paying first-year rent or fixing up their exteriors.

Since the start of 2017, Covington has provided almost $416,000 to 78 businesses under the two incentive programs that make up its Small Business Program. By June 30, the City wants to commit an additional $111,300 over two rounds of funding.

The programs offer up to $500 a month for first-year rent for 12 months, or a forgivable loan of up to $6,000 to match dollar-for-dollar investments in façade improvements to a commercial building.

The program represents tangible help – with tremendous return – that goes directly to protecting vulnerable new businesses and fixing up buildings.

“Our Small Business Program is one way that we constantly invest in our community’s talent to expand neighborhood revitalization, spur job creation, and add to Covington’s quality of place,” said Ross Patten, the City’s assistant economic development director. “We strongly encourage businesses to apply by the Jan. 29 deadline.”

Businesses should start by contacting Patten at (859) 292-2144 or Applications and information about the programs can be found HERE.

Patten said the $416,000 invested by the City since the Small Business Program effectively began has leveraged almost $3.4 million in private investment.

“Collectively, every dollar the public invested through these programs has leveraged $8 in private investment in our community directly within those businesses,” Patten said.

And that measure doesn’t take into account the number of jobs created and maintained, financial security of those jobs on families, and the spin-off effect on other businesses, he said.

In 2020 alone, the City helped 14 businesses with $77,974 that leveraged $847,585 in private investment. For example, in December, the City awarded four rent subsidies and a façade incentive worth a total of $28,500 to businesses located in five different neighborhoods: Eastside, Old Town/Mutter Gottes, the Central Business District, Westside, and MainStrasse Village.

These included ModelFit personal training studio, a human resources technology company called Cloverleaf, The Annex by Greenline Salon, and B Squared Partners LLC (an ownership group whose building houses video production firm Spotted Yeti Media and the boutique public relations firm Scooter Media).

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 in other states looking to duplicate all or part of our program,” he said. 

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