Some businesses are doing their best to make it through the coronavirus pandemic, but sometimes that requires a helping hand in times of turmoil.
To that end, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Duke Energy have provided more than $70,000 to 17 local businesses, all of them either minority-, women- or veteran-owned. More than 160 businesses applied.
“People are paying attention to us,” said Caileen Tallant, owner of Tallant Music Studio in Fort Thomas. “Giving us a chance to also succeed.”
Her goal is to pass on that same chance of success to her students.
“We believe, through music we can give our students a voice,” Tallant said. “Whatever you’re passionate about, you can do it. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you look like. If you’re passionate about it, you can make it happen.”
She opened her business on July 1.
“Our startup cost came completely from my family’s savings,” Tallant said. “That took a big hit.”
Now, with the help of a grant from the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Duke Energy, the studio has a new piano.
"It’s very empowering.” Tallant said. “It’s neat to be a part of that movement, and a lot of times it can feel easy that as a woman my voice isn’t as heard as others. This has definitely proved that wrong.”
Susan’s Salon and Spa in Alexandria was shut down for more than two months due to the pandemic.
“That 10.5 weeks is 25% of our budget for the year,” owner Morgan Feldman said. “We definitely felt it, surely.”
She said that felling turned to excitement when her business was selected to receive a grant.
“I got to point what I’d be using that money for,” Feldman said. “That shows what’s important to us as an organization. I’m lucky to be able to do that.”
What was important to her – and the shop’s 14 employees – was continuing a retirement plan match program.
“I wanted to make sure for their futures that it’s something that I can match, and continue to do that for them this year,” Feldman said.
The businesses receiving grants are:
- Around the Clock Childcare, LLC. (Kenton Co.)
- Asmi LLC (Boone Co.)
- Becca’s Body Sculpting Studio (Kenton Co.)
- D.A.D.S. Bobcat Service (Pendleton Co.)
- First Achievements, PLLC (Boone Co.)
- Grainwell (Kenton Co.)
- Head 2 Toe Salon NKY (Kenton Co.)
- Kradle to Krayons Childcare Learning Center (Campbell Co.)
- OKOTA, LLC (Boone Co.)
- Sage Yoga Co. (Kenton Co.)
- Small World Child Development Center (Pendleton Co.)
- Susan’s Salon & Spa (Campbell Co.)
- Tallant Music Studio, LLC. (Campbell Co.)
- Tracy Nicole Brand (Boone Co)
- T&C Operating, LLC (Campbell Co.)
- Wiseman Crossing Designs (Boone Co.)
- Yankee Doodle Deli (Kenton Co.)
“We’ve continued to hear from our small business customers that they are having the hardest time trying to get funding to not only stay afloat, but to keep their doors open,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “This is a way for us to have a direct impact on a critical customer segment.”
The program was open to qualifying businesses with 50 employees or less that are Duke Energy customers in Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton counties. Applications were reviewed by a diverse panel of judges comprised of business and community leaders from a variety of industries, partner organizations and Duke Energy representatives.
Managing Director of GROW NKY and Vice President of Workforce at the NKY Chamber Leisa Mulcahy says the grants will provide substantial help across several industries most affected by necessary measures implemented to flatten the pandemic’s curve.
Learn more about the grant and the businesses receiving help here.