NKY Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky partnership produces $80K impact for local businesses
The NKY Restaurant Relief Fund, a joint project of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, awarded its final seven $1,000 grants Thursday, April 30. The winners of the grants were announced during the live broadcast of the NKY Chamber’s weekly podcast, Northern Kentucky Spotlight with Kathrine Nero.
Established to assist local restaurants and bars forced to temporarily cease in-person dining because of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, the fund saw some $37,000 in donations. Combined with almost $44,000 in gift card/gift certificate receipts uploaded to the fund’s website from supporters across the region, the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund effort made a total economic impact of just over $80,000, all of which went directly to local bars and restaurants.
The recipients of the final seven $1,000 grants announced Thursday, April 30, were:
· Beef O’ Brady’s (Union)
· BRU Burger Bar (Fort Mitchell)
· Midway Café (Fort Thomas)
· Rich’s Proper Food & Drink (Covington)
· Siam Orchid (Bellevue)
· The Gruff (Covington)
· Tom’s Papa Dino’s (Florence)
The NKY Restaurant Relief fund operated as follows: After purchasing a $50 minimum gift card/gift certificate to any qualifying Northern Kentucky restaurant or bar, an individual could then upload a copy of their receipt, address and contact information to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website. This would automatically nominate the restaurant or bar where the gift card was purchased for a one-time $1,000 grant, which were chosen via a random drawing. Restaurants needed to be locally owned and operated to be eligible.
The fund was originally slated to be a two-week program to award $1,000 grants to 20 establishments but was expanded to three weeks, and 37 recipients due to the generosity of donors, which included among others Main Street Ventures, the Dave and Cindy Knox Family Fund, Woods Hardware/ACME Lock, Marilyn Scripps, Urban Sites, and Julie Kirkpatrick, all of whom came together for the support of Northern Kentucky businesses.
NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper says the response to the fund is a testament to the spirit of the people who call Northern Kentucky home.
“The support that has been shown to the NKY Restaurant Relief fund has exceeded my greatest expectations,” Cooper said. “To see how people have come together to help others in the circumstance we currently find ourselves should not only be a great source of pride for these bars and restaurants, but all of Northern Kentucky.”
Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume hopes the fund inspires people to continue to look for ways to help other businesses in need throughout the region.
“This fund was started because people saw a need and came together to provide relief to Northern Kentucky's restaurants,” said Crume. “This is a great example of how people helping one another can bring a community together. We hope this will inspire others to find creative ways to support other industries.”
Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson agrees.
“A simple idea has resulted in a venture that has enabled one of our hardest hit industries to keep doors open, continue to employ hundreds of people and provide a great service throughout the community,” said Grayson. “We would like to thank everyone who has directly or indirectly supported this fund financially or through word-of-mouth as the indelible spirit of Northern Kentucky continues to persevere.”