Covington business owners look to improve shops with city grant

COVINGTON, Ky. -- City officials hope supporting small business will spur big growth in the Cov.

The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday issued rent subsidies and facade improvement grants to seven businesses, including a wood-centric decor shop and a privately-owned grocery store.

Economy Meat Market will use the money to create a new sign, a new facade and a new name.  

Owner Charlotte Rayne knows the convenience store has lost some of its flair; the shop has seen four owners in two years.

“It’s seen a lot of change, and it needed a new identity,” Rayne said.

Part of the grant will help in renaming the store: Chops, Cheese and Chives will operate under the same premise as neighborhood grocer, butcher and deli.

“We definitely want to keep the integrity of what is here and keep the people who do already come here on a regular basis with their products and needs,” Rayne said.

Rayne said they plan on putting in new windows to offer more lighting. Small tables outside will offer spaces to enjoy food.

The owners of Grainwell, a home decor shop on Pike Street, say the grant has been instrumental in opening a new storefront.

The company, founded by Melyssa Kirn and her two sisters, will soon be paying rent at two locations. But the move is a little easier with help from the rent subsidy.

"It'll definitely help kind of relieve a little bit of stress of having to pay that double rent,” Kirn said.

Kirn also said the grant provides a cushion until shopping in Covington really takes off.

"We don't have the huge foot traffic that Over-the-Rhine or the Banks has just yet, but  definitely we're hoping within the next year or two it will build up,” Kirn said.

Grainwell’s storefront will move up the street next to Olde Towne Tavern starting in mid-October. The bar is also receiving a loan to help with exterior improvements.  

Rayne hopes the grant will help bring new businesses to the river city.

“Having that available I think is a nice boom for small businesses … that’s one of the reasons why I live in Covington. It has that spirit of community and support,” Rayne said.

The city has budgeted $72,000 to provide 12 subsidies or grants to businesses. Chako’s Bakery Cafe, Flying Axes, Moonrise Doughnuts and Smoke Justis also received grants.

Print this article Back to Top