A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Duke Energy Foundation awards $100k in grants to support 25 small businesses in Northern Kentucky

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting small businesses that keep communities vibrant.

The Duke Energy Foundation has partnered with the Northern Kentucky and Grant County chambers of commerce to award $100,000 in grants to 25 small businesses in Northern Kentucky.

Ryan Gentil, Duke v.p. state government affairs, Bhim Dahal, owner of Unique International Market, and Nancy Spivey, v.p. talent strategies, NKY Chamber. (Photo provided)

Under this partnership, the Duke Energy Foundation supplies the funding, while the chambers determine the businesses to which the funds are granted. Preference is given to minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses. Funds may be used for a broad array of expenditures including but not limited to physical space adaptability and beautification, technology improvements, talent sourcing, job posting fees, and professional development training costs.

“With the holidays upon us, our local small businesses are working tirelessly to serve their customers,” said Amy Spiller, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “We hope these funds bring a little extra cheer to those business owners who continue to navigate the current economy. And, as always, we encourage everyone to shop small.”

The Small Business Assistance grant program was first developed in 2020 to help small businesses survive and rebound from the pandemic. Since then, the Duke Energy Foundation has partnered with local chambers to provide approximately $880,000 in assistance to small businesses in southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.

“There are countless options for consumers to spend this holiday season, the NKY Chamber of Commerce asks that you consider supporting local small businesses, said Nancy Spivey, vice president of talent strategies at the NKY Chamber. When you support a local business, you’re also supporting that business owner and his or her employees, as well as the product or service makers and providers. Local businesses pay taxes to the city and county which is used to support public schools, parks, roads, sidewalks, and other amenities that we count on like public service workers. The NKY Chamber of Commerce is very appreciative of Duke Energy Foundation’s support of Northern Kentucky’s small businesses.”

The following small businesses in Northern Kentucky have been selected to receive this year’s Duke Energy Foundation Small Business Assistance Grants:

Grant County Chamber of Commerce ($25,000)

Beauty & the Beard
Body Works Gym
Browning’s Country Ham
The Colonel’s Creamery
Cornerstone Equipment
Dry Ridge Auto
Ella Mae’s Sundaes
Farmhouse Furniture
Minuteman Press
Ivy Leaf Florist
Jim Simpson Realtors, Inc
My Kiddie College
Saylor Trailer Sales, LLC
Shirt & Stuff Happens LLC

Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce ($75,000)

Airtrek Robotics
Bailey Ross LLC dba Thrive Empowerment Center
Clear Mountain Food Park
Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices
Debi’s Cut & Curl
Golden Gelato Company
Inspired Fashion
Kealoha’s Kitchen
Twin Bistro & Catering dba The Gruff
Union Music Academy
Unique International Market

The Duke Energy Foundation provides more than $30 million annually in philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The Foundation is funded by Duke Energy shareholders.

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides electric service to 900,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to 550,000 customers in a 2,650-square-mile service area, in Ohio and Kentucky.

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