Downtown Covington is home to a growing number of new restaurants, bars, and retailers, a trend that city leaders tout every chance they can.
But they also want to look out for the businesses that have been around a while.
So they’ve expanded an emergency fund created by the city of Covington to help small businesses pay rent and mortgages during the pandemic so it can help long-established businesses that neither pay rent nor have a mortgage.
To qualify, these so-called “legacy” businesses must have been operating in Covington since at least the year 2000. They can receive a one-time payment of up to $2,000, says Ross Patten, Covington’s economic development program manager.
“Covington has a wide array of businesses that have been investing here and have been vested here for a long time,” Patten says. “We want to reward these established businesses with a helping hand - just because they own their building doesn’t mean they’re not hurting right now because of the pandemic.”
More than 30 businesses have already been approved under the initial guidelines of the Emergency Disaster and Rent and Mortgage Business Assistance Program. That program reimburses up to half of an applicant’s monthly rent or mortgage payment, or $500, whichever is less. Businesses can receive up to four months’ assistance.
Covington Mayor Joe Meyer recently signed an executive order updating the program’s eligibility guidelines to reflect the new details.
The emergency fund still has money waiting to be used.
In late March, the city set aside $200,000 to award assistance to qualifying businesses. Patten says the program could be helping many more firms.
“This is real money sitting on the table waiting to be invested in Covington’s small businesses and their workers,” he says. “The shutdown has been challenging, and the city is committed to helping its businesses - especially its entrepreneurs - survive both the pandemic and the reopening.”
The Emergency Disaster and Rent & Mortgage Business Assistance Program was one of several initiatives created by the City to protect jobs by helping local businesses stay solvent during the global health crisis.
To apply or learn the details of the program, click HERE. Meyer’s executive order can be seen HERE.