Covington offers legacy grants to help businesses still recovering from COVID-19

Posted at 11:51 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 23:51:56-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — A week since Kentucky restaurants were allowed to open indoor dining, some eateries are still reeling from the effects of COVID-19.

Riverfront Pizza, for example, has been open since 1981. Like many restaurants, it operates on slim margins and the owners say $2,000 can make a big difference.

The people who run the Covington pizza joint say it keeps families fed, including their own.

“If it doesn’t work, we’re out. It’s our lifeline,” said owner Rena Gearding.

She and her husband Mikelle opened nearly four decades ago, with small children by their side.

“When we were first married the kids would sleep on the floor,” Rena said. “We’d put pizza bags down. They’d nap on the floor.”

Today, one of those kids works at Riverfront Pizza, and they all work hard to keep it going.

“My husband works seven days a week,” Rena said. “He invests a lot of time in it. It’s a hard business to stay afloat on.”

Mikelle credits their regulars for the pizza shop's success.

“They keep us going,” Mikelle said.

But when COVID-19 turned businesses across the country upside down, things were hard here, too. The Geardings are being careful not to break any rules and choosing to keep their dining room closed for now.

So, a new legacy grant from the city of Covington, designed to help any establishment at least 20 years old, would mean a lot.

“$2,000 would go a long way with us because we’re a small business, so anything helps. If something breaks or just something that needs to be done,” Mikelle said.

But he said, that’s uncharted territory.

“That’s for sure. Never seen anything like it. Hope I never do again either," he said.

Business owners can apply for the legacy grant by visiting

For more information, click here.