COVINGTON, Ky. — It’s not all bad news.
Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating effect on the global economy, which has flattened entire industries and put millions out of work, the city of Covington continues to attract new investment and job opportunities.
“It’s a tale of two cities,” Mayor Joe Meyer said on Thursday. “It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times.”
Covington added 1,300 new jobs and $66 million in private investment during the first eight months of 2020, dwarfing the 160 new jobs and $7.5 million it brought in during 2019.
Meyer attributes much of the growth to the city’s relaxed zoning code and low taxes for businesses — each Covington-based company’s tax burden is capped at $40,000.
“We have worked specifically to reduce some of the bureaucratic barriers that can be so frustrating to people,” Meyer said.
Tim Schroeder, founder of the Covington-based pharmaceutical research company CTI, admits the tax incentives are nice. However, he said, the biggest reason CTI chose Covington was its employees.
Covington’s bars, parks, schools, restaurants and small shops all helped create an appealing home for younger workers.
“We’ve got a young workforce, and they were quite interested in being located in the center city,” he said.
And CTI’s industry, at least, is one that’s gotten busier during the COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s a good surprise,” Schroeder said.