ERLANGER, Ky. — City officials are launching Northern Kentucky’s largest relief program to help small businesses recover from the financial blow of the pandemic.
Mayor Jessica Fette said city council approved the $1.2 million program amid worries that COVID-19 would have a negative impact on the city’s budget cycle. Despite the pandemic, Fette said the city’s revenues are up 7% this fiscal year when compared to this time last year.
"We have had a tremendous amount of economic development through a number of diversified industries investing in the city and we have been very strategic with our spending,” Fette said. “So, in spite of this being a very difficult year, our fiscal outlook is strong, which is how we can offer this program to our businesses."
The city is using CARES Act dollars, which it received from the federal government last year, to fund the program.
Matt Grimes, owner of Colonial Cottage, said he appreciates the city’s efforts to help small businesses.
"November and December is usually when I can build up money for the slower months during the winter,” Grimes said. “I wasn't able to do that this year because of COVID, and I've had to lay people off. This assistance is really coming at the best possible time to relieve some of the suffering so many businesses are feeling."
Other business owners indicated they would be applying for financial assistance, including Jeff Simpson, owner of Johnny's Car Wash and The Batting Cage and Chris Derry, co-owner of Silverlake The Family Place.
Erlanger officials reached out to Covington and Independence officials to determine the best business relief program model for the city.
Business owners who are interested in applying can click here for more information.