Economic impact report signals dynamic momentum

2022 built on ‘solid foundation’ with new jobs and investments

COVINGTON, Ky. – Borrowing from the manifesto that drives its mission, the newly released 2022 Impact Report of Covington’s Economic Development Department lays out how doing things “of The Cov … by The Cov … for The Cov” culminated in a year that saw the city’s trajectory stay the course of an already dynamic momentum.

“Since the start of 2020, we have announced the creation of nearly 5,000 new great jobs and over $270 million in capital investment in The Cov,” Economic Development Director Tom West said. “This momentum provides the solid foundation we will use to attract jobs and investment to the Covington Central Riverfront redevelopment.”

The 2022 Impact Report reflects on a year defined by robust numbers for job creation and retention and capital investment … an array of small business incentives … groundbreaking workforce initiatives like the Enzweiler Building Institute’s construction trades school and the new Covington Academy of Heritage Trades … and big steps forward in the transformation of 23 acres in the new Central Riverfront Neighborhood (aka former IRS site), which will see Covington-based developers get a shot at creating the neighborhood’s projects.

Numbers talk

Highlights from the 2022 report include:

  • Almost $44.3 million in private capital investment.
  • Over $1 million in City Incentives leveraged $19 million in private investment; 19:01 ROI
  • Over $126,000 in incentives for small businesses.
  • 13 City-organized ribbon cuttings.
  • 23 acres nearly ready for development.

Keeping it local

The “Of/by/for The Cov” language references the City’s utilizing of local talent for projects and to create opportunities for Covington businesses and residents. For example, Covington businesses and creative talent played integral roles in developing the 2022 impact report and related marketing, creating new branding, a new website, and marketing tools that will enhance efforts to attract new businesses:

Durham Brands created the department’s new branding and marketing tools, such as a Business Guide that simplifies the process of opening a business in Covington in 10 easy steps.

For the last few years, West’s team marketed the City to prospective businesses, investors, and talent with varied branding messages that touted Covington’s historic spaces and edgy charm. Last May, the department unveiled its formal brand narrative: “Unapologetically Covington” boasts the City’s unabashed embrace of its quirkiness, diversity, and willingness to think big and push the envelope.

Systems Insight designed the department’s new standalone website,, to provide businesses, investors, and developers information they need without a lot of digging through superfluous clutter.

“The new website is a tremendous resource and I encourage everyone to check it out,” said Covington Business Recruitment Manager Susan Smith. “It’s designed for businesses, developers, investors and brokers to easily find what they need when making a decision on where to invest, For example, a business owner can search for available commercial properties to see what may be a good fit, or if a developer would like to know updates on the Covington Central Riverfront Neighborhood. It’s all there, including the video fly-through.”

AGNT, a strategic design studio, designed the department’s impact report and accompanying video.

Sam Greenhill, a city-based photographer, brings a uniquely Covington lens to capturing the faces and places in The Cov that are featured throughout the report, on the website, and in marketing efforts. Expect to see Greenhill’s photography throughout the city. Many of his images will play out on a series of panels along a portion of fencing around the Covington Central Riverfront neighborhood along 4th Street.

‘Keepin’ it real’

At the marrow of the impact report are the businesses and people that “keep it real” in The Cov, and the report highlights some of last year’s best by way of the 2022 Authenti-CITY Awards.

Last year’s awards played out at Covington Yard last May and featured the roll-out of Economic Development’s new brand.

After fierce debates among City staff who nominated the businesses, places, events, people and organizations that “keep it real” in The Cov, the five winners emerged: Lost Art Press, Riverside Korean, Hierophany & Hedge, Anchor Grill, and Amy Kummler.

The 2023 Authenti-CITY Awards will take place May 11, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at West Clinton St. alley (between Kung Food Amerasia and Train with Rocco). Nominations and the debate commence soon.


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