The City of Newport has launched a small business emergency assistance program to provide financial aid to entrepreneurs within the Northern Kentucky neighborhood that have experienced economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Emergency Business Assistance Program began in early April and provides $500 a month up to $2,000 to approved businesses to use for their rent, mortgage or lease payments while being closed due to the crisis.
So far, 11 businesses have been approved for the program, including York Street Cafe, Drive Media House, Newport Fitness, Southgate House Revival and Sis's Family Restaurant.
"I'm just so grateful for what the city is doing for my business and other businesses in Newport during this very difficult time," said Sis's owner Sandy Schweitzer in a press release. "This is another example of how the city appreciates and supports small businesses in Newport."
Funding for the incentive is sourced through the federal Community Development Block Grant program and the city's general fund.
"Small businesses are a tremendous and important part of Newport's economy and history," said Newport Assistant Manager Larisa Sims, who crafted the basis of the incentive program, in a press release. "They provide jobs, generate taxes and investment, attract visitors and help create the wonderful and inviting neighborhood feel Newport is known for.
"Small businesses do so much for the city, that we wanted to do something for them during this unprecedented health and economic crisis."