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Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Duke Energy Foundation, NKY Chamber Create Small Business Recovery Grants for Minority-, Women- and Veteran-owned Businesses

Grants to provide aid to minority-, women- and veteran-owned small businesses in Northern Kentucky

Amy Spiller, Duke Energy Foundation
(Img: Duke Energy)

The devastating impact of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic has been felt nationwide, and the Northern Kentucky region is no exception. Now, as the economy continues re-opening, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Duke Energy Foundation are partnering to provide a little relief to the small business community.

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The NKY Small Business Recovery Grant for Minority-, Women- and Veteran-Owned Businesses will fund $70,000 worth of grants – available in varying amounts up to $10,000 – to small businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. The program, which will accept applications through Tuesday, July 7, is open to qualifying companies with 50 employees or less that are Duke Energy customers in Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton and Pendleton counties.

“We’ve continued to hear from our small business customers that they are having the hardest time trying to get funding to not only stay afloat, but to keep their doors open,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “This is a way for us to have a direct impact on a critical customer segment.”

To be considered as a minority-owned business, a company must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a minimum of one person whose ethnic background is at least 25% Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.

Women-owned businesses must be at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by one or more women and a woman must lead the company’s day-to-day activities. Management and daily operation must be controlled by one or more of the women owners. 

Veteran-owned businesses are defined as at least 51% of the business must be directly and unconditionally owned by one or more veterans or service-disabled veterans.

Applicants are asked to demonstrate how, if awarded a grant, they will use the funds to provide relief to their organization, including how the grant will help sustain their business through the pandemic. In addition, applicants will need to share something unique about their organization or service that sets them apart from others applying.

Leisa Mulcahy, Managing Director of GROW NKY and Vice President of Workforce at the NKY Chamber, says the grant will work to help an often-underserved segment of the business community at a time when assistance is needed the most.

“As we continue to move forward with the re-opening of the economy, it is important we make sure we are providing resources for all the businesses we support – especially those that run the risk of being underserved,” said Mulcahy. “With this generous support of the Duke Energy Foundation, this grant will ensure that every partner in our business community will have an opportunity to survive and thrive.”

For more information and to apply, visit

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