Popsicles & software solutions

Photo: Damien and Sarah Thompson, seen here with their children, are the owners of Honey Child Artisan Pops, LLC at 1204 Scott Blvd.

New businesses, façade projects get helping hand from City

COVINGTON, Ky. – A new business that creates healthy alternatives to sugar-laden popsicles and one that finds software solutions for businesses were among five projects given financial help Tuesday by the Covington Board of Commissioners.

The Commission approved two rent-subsidy and three façade-improvement incentives through the City’s internationally recognized Small Business Program.

The majority of projects this round are Black-owned businesses, “something which our team is committed to helping grow in Covington,” said the City’s Assistant Economic Development Director, Sarah Allan.

“Once again, we have a variety of businesses and neighborhoods represented to receive incentives,” Allan said. “We have a new popsicle shop in the Eastside that will also produce sweet treats for stores around the region, joining our growing micro-manufacturing sector; an historic corner building that will be rehabbed back into its original commercial use in Wallace Woods; a growing tech business that will expand its payroll by almost $600,000 over the next year, and more.”

The incentives came during the third round of funding this fiscal year under the City’s Small Business Program, which sets aside $150,000 a year in three areas -- helping fledgling businesses with first-year rent and commercial property owners upgrade their exteriors or restore an historic electric business sign.

Tuesday night’s awards:

Rent subsidies:

  • $4,710 to Honey Child Artisan Pops, LLC at 1204 Scott Blvd., a Black-owned and woman-owned business that adds to the Eastern Corridor’s growing retail sector with its expansion from Findlay Market in Ohio. Honey Child Artisan Pops creates hand-crafted pops that are free of cane sugar, dairy, and gluten, instead featuring ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, plant-based proteins, and superfood ingredients. Honey Child Artisan Pops has a three-year lease.


  • $6,000 to Nichefire, Inc. at 7 E. 5th St., a B2B software company that adds $583,000 in new payroll. The business has a two-year lease and is located in the Central Business District.

Façade incentives:

  • $6,000 to 138-42 Pike St. and owner Runion Capital for a $12,250 façade improvement that includes repainting the entire building and repairing wood trim. The building is in the Mutter Gottes neighborhood.


  • $6,000 to 2001 Scott Blvd. toward a $27,843 façade improvement that involves new windows, rebuilding the entire storefront, painting, and wood repair. The building, owned by J. Davis Law Firm, PLLC., a Black-owned business, is in the Wallace Woods neighborhood.


  • $6,000 to 909 Madison LLC in the Eastside neighborhood for a $16,299 façade improvement to repaint the entire building, tuckpointing, and new windows and doors.

After this round of awards, the Small Business Program has $48,684 available to be awarded before June 30.

Sarah Thompson, owner of Honey Child Artisan Pops, LLC, said they’re excited to bring their business to Covington and appreciate the help the grant will give during a “crucial” first year.

“Honey Child Pops makes delicious, better-for-you frozen treats while also seeking to build, grow and sustain healthier communities,” said Thompson. “Covington is the perfect fit for us because of its strong support of small businesses and active local community. The rent-subsidy grant will help us during that crucial first year when we need to recover from the cost of building out a space and as we learn how to best serve our new community.”

To apply

Businesses who are interested in applying for either the façade, historic electric sign, or rent assistance incentives should contact Sarah Allan at (859) 292-2144 or For more information, see applications and guidelines.

Deadlines for the 4th round of applications:

  • March 10, 2023, to meet with the City’s Preservation Specialist.
  • March 24, 2023, to submit the final application.

Between 2019 and 2022, the program has assisted 120 businesses or projects, supported 35 businesses with women, veteran, or Black owners, leveraged almost $7.2 million of private investment, created or retained over 5,800 jobs, and impacted just under 450,000 square feet of vacant commercial space that has been filled or improved.

In 2021, the program received an award from the International Economic Development Council, the world’s largest council of development professionals.


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