A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Cov commission learns more than 30 businesses helped by ARPA program, hears budget report

By Ryan Clark
NKyTribune reporter

More than 30 businesses have been helped, more than 75 one-on-one meetings have been held with business owners, and 13 businesses were started from scratch and registered with the city.

That’s the difference the Small Business Technical Assistance Program has made.

Jamir Davis, director of the program, presented to the Covington Board of Commissioners at their regularly scheduled legislative meeting this week. He explained how the program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), has helped small businesses in the city come back after COVID.

“ARPA came as a result of the COVID-19 stimulus package,” he said. “So, the city of Covington was awarded funds … they reached out to Northern Kentucky Community Action to administer the funds and support to the local businesses. So that’s how the partnership kind of worked out.

“The Small Business Technical Assistance Program was a program to assist Covington small businesses to help them recover from COVID-19 and to help them prepare for any unforeseen future circumstances.”

The program offers services like:

• Assist to become properly licensed with the city
• Properly licensed with the state
• Registered for city email communications
• Complete business financial literacy training program
• Assist to prepare two years of updated financials
• Assist with two-year budget
• Develop/revise business plans to increase revenue
• Provide referrals for direct technical assistance

And those who can use the program include:

• Covington residents
• Negatively impacted by COVID-19
• Current small business owners
• Covington residents who want to start an unestablished business.

“As a part of our one-on-one consultations, we would really sit down with businesses and ask the hard questions,” Davis said. “Like, ‘What do you sell? What will people buy from you? What will you charge? How can customers pay you? We wanted to pin down answers to these questions so that we could help them map out a plan for success.

“All in all,” he concluded, “we would definitely say the program was a success.”

“Thank you, Jamir, for your hard work on this project,” Commissioner Ron Washington said. “It was an easy sell to help businesses that were in need during COVID and we appreciate you hitting the ground and going out and finding those businesses and talking with them. Hats off to the economic development team once again for looking out for our small businesses.”

1Q Budget Report

Budget Director Joel Baker reported on the first quarter budget, which ran from July 1 through Sept. 30.

“The general fund expenditures — the left side of the pie — exceeded revenue, which is the right side of the pie, by $856,000 due to the timing of annual revenue sources, such as property taxes, which are due Oct. 15,” Baker said.

1003 Forest Ave.
Commissioners approved the sale of 1003 Forest Ave. to William Remke for $35,000.

1104 Locust St.
Commissioners approved the sale of 1104 Locust St. to Sparen Real Estate LLC, for $20,000.

Promotions, etc.

Commissioners approved these promotions, resignations, etc:

• Promoting Bradley Chetwood to Working Foreman in the right of way traffic division of the Public Works Department

• Promoting Gene Koehl to Working Foreman in the right of way street division of the Public Works Department

• Reverting Ryan Gribble from the position of Light Equipment Operator to Laborer II in the Public Works Department

• The resignation of William Gonzalez, police officer

• Sign a contract peace officer agreement with David Finan, Jr.

• Sign a contract peace officer agreement with Wesley Cook

Appointments and reappointments

Commissioners approved these appointments and reappointments:

• Reappointing Charles Kirtley to the Code Enforcement Hearing Board
• Reappointing Matthew Rivir to the Devou Park Advisory Committee
• Reappointing Dora Vorherr to the Devou Park Advisory Committee
• Reappointing Lana Long to the Devou Park Advisory Committee
• Reappointing Jane Bresser to the Urban Forestry Board
• Reappointing Jim Meranus to the Urban Forestry Board
• Reappointing Steve Frank to the Covington Economic Development Authority
• Appointing Daniel Hurrelbrink to the Covington Motor Vehicle Parking Authority
• Appointing Annie Venerable to the Board of Overseers for Linden Grove Cemetery
• Appointing Elizabeth House to the Behringer-Crawford Museum Board

Mayor absent

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer was absent Tuesday night.

Next Meeting

The next regularly scheduled Covington Commission meeting will be a caucus meeting held at 6 p.m., Nov. 28, at the City Building at 20 W. Pike St. in Covington. The meetings can be followed live on Fioptics channel 815, Spectrum channel 203, the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky (TBNK) website, the TBNK Facebook page @TBNKonline, and the TBNK Roku channels.

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