NKY Chamber of Commerce, BE NKY and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky partner to support local restaurants, bars with $1,000 grants  

Fort Mitchell, KY – The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, BE NKY and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky have announced the first recipients of grants from the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund … And the generosity of the region has resulted in more help than anticipated.

Today organizers announced the first 15 restaurants and bars to receive $1,000 grants from the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund. The winners were announced during the Thursday, April 16, live broadcast of the NKY Chamber’s weekly podcast, Northern Kentucky Spotlight with Kathrine Nero. A joint project between the NKY Chamber, BE NKY and Horizon Community Funds, the fund launched April 8 to provide local restaurants and bars financial aid in the wake of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.

The first round of NKY Restaurant Relief Fund grant recipients included:

  1. The Block Deli (Crescent Springs)
  2. Bouquet Restaurant (Covington)
  3. Braxton Brewing Co. (Covington)
  4. Camporosso (Fort Mitchell)
  5. Commonwealth Bistro (Covington)
  6. Frida 602 (Covington)
  7. Grandview Tavern (Fort Mitchell)
  8. Izzy’s (Florence)
  9. Knotty Pine on the Bayou (Wilder)
  10. Libby’s Southern Comfort (Covington)
  11. Piper’s Café (Covington)
  12. Reality Tuesday Café (Park Hills)
  13. Ripple Wine Bar (Covington)
  14. Skyline Chili (Taylor Mill)
  15. Skyline Chili (Ft. Wright)

The program works as follows: After purchasing a $50 minimum gift card/gift certificate to any qualifying Northern Kentucky restaurant or bar, an individual can then upload a copy of their receipt, address and contact information to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website. This automatically nominates the restaurant or bar for a $1,000 grant. Grant recipients are chosen via a random drawing with restaurants and bars receiving an entry for each $50 gift card/gift certificate uploaded. Restaurants must be locally owned and operated to be eligible; winning institutions will only receive a grant once.

To date, approximately $35,000 in sponsor/individual donation commitments have been made to the fund, with $15,000 worth of receipts uploaded to the site resulting from gift card/gift certificate purchases in support of more than 70 restaurants and bars. The response allowed for grants to be awarded to 15 restaurants and bars instead of 10 as originally announced.

“We are so humbled by the outpouring of generosity from the NKY Chamber, BE NKY, Horizon Community Funds, and our patrons during these unprecedented times,” said grant recipient Colleen Haws, Founder & CEO of Grandview Tavern. “This NKY Restaurant Relief Fund grant will be used to continue to provide Fresh Carryout Food and we will also be providing a meal to our first responders at St. Elizabeth. We can’t thank Susie Hilliard of Twin Oaks Golf Course her husband Mark, enough for making this possible.”

As an added bonus, gift card/gift certificate purchasers will also have a chance to be rewarded for their generosity. Ultimate Air Shuttle has donated a pair of airline tickets that will be awarded to one lucky gift card/gift certificate purchaser during the next NKY Spotlight podcast, which will air at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 23. Receipts for the next winners’ pool must be uploaded to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website by midnight Wednesday, April 22, in order to be eligible for the airline tickets, as well as the grants.

NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper is “ecstatic” about what the outpouring of support for the fund says about the Northern Kentucky region.

“At a time when so many businesses, restaurants especially, are struggling through no fault of their own, the outpouring of support by our community shows just how special and strong Northern Kentucky truly is,” Cooper said. “We have a long road, so to speak, ahead of us but this is a re-affirmation of what we have told our members at this time: You are not alone as we are all in this together. We are confident next week’s announcement will re-affirm that commitment, too.”

BE NKY President and CEO Lee Crume hopes today’s announcement inspires others to help the fund reach its original goal of $50,000 – and beyond.

“The amount of gift cards purchased and donations to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund so far have surpassed our expectations and show how strong our Northern Kentucky community is,” said Crume. “Our region is stepping up to this challenge and the support shown for our restaurants and bars lets our entrepreneurs and their staff know how much they mean to all of us. This effort is a shining example of our region’s generosity. We hope the momentum continues.”

Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson says the fund has allowed for people to support more than just their favorite establishment for food and drink, too.

“In addition to supporting our local restaurants and bars, we have seen companies as well as individuals buying gift cards as a ‘thank you’ to our healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers,” says Grayson. “It’s long been said that meals bring people together; now, they are bringing our entire region together in an unprecedented fashion.”

To nominate a local restaurant or bar, or for more information, visit the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website at nkychamber.com/nkyrestaurantrelief. Direct contributions to the fund can also be made by visiting Horizon Community Funds’ website, www.horizonfunds.org; questions can be directed to info@BE-NKY.com.


Additional quotes from NKY Restaurant Relief Fund recipients:

“We are absolutely moved by this gesture of goodwill,” said grant recipient Tess Burns, who owns Commonwealth Bistro with her husband Chris. “Thank you to the NKY Chamber for this generous program, and for those who purchased gift cards and nominated us. We are incredibly grateful, and can’t wait to get back to serving the community we love so much.”

“Thank you so much to everyone who made this grant possible,” said grant recipient Stephen Williams, Director of Operations with Bouquet Restaurant. “The NKY Restaurant Relief Fund grant will be used to help get Bouquet back up and running over the next two weeks. We’ve got to restock everything, buy to-go boxes and get the new ways of doing business setup.”

“I’d like to thank the organizers of the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund for their generosity during these difficult times,” said grant recipient John Geisen, President and CEO of Izzy’s. “We are very appreciative of their efforts to help support local businesses like Izzy’s and others that can use the assistance during this pandemic. I would also like to thank our wonderful customers who have supported us and continue to support us with efforts like these. I truly feel that we have the best fans who have stuck with us for a long time, and it’s these efforts that continue to keep us going.”

“It’s things like this that give us hope and make us feel needed in the community,” said grant recipient Brad Wainscott, owner of Libby’s Southern Comfort. “We can’t thank you enough.”

“This will go a long way helping us to pay employees and purchase food,” said grant recipient Tom Rauen, who owns The Block Deli with his wife Conna. “In these trying times, it’s so good to see so many people stepping up to help small businesses survive. We want to thank all of our loyal customers and the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund for making this possible.”


About the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce: The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Inc., founded in 1969, is the leading business organization in Northern Kentucky with more than 1,600-member companies representing approximately 175,000 employees. The NKY Chamber strives to promote and support the development of strong businesses and a vibrant economy in the Northern Kentucky region, through leadership and advocacy, resulting in a better quality of life for all. Dan Cahill, CEO of HSD Metrics, is the Chair of the Board and Brent Cooper is the President and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Additional information on the NKY Chamber is available at www.nkychamber.com.

About the BE NKY: BE NKY serves as the primary economic development entity for Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties, providing marketing, business retention/expansion and entrepreneurship services for the region. BE NKY’s mission is to generate, preserve and enhance high quality economic opportunities for Northern Kentucky and support development of the region’s business operating environment.

About Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky: Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky is a qualified public charitable 501(c)(3) organization established as a community foundation in 2017 by Northern Kentucky leaders. Its mission is to unite resources to raise the quality of life for all people in the Northern Kentucky community. Learn more at www.horizonfunds.org