NKY Chamber of Commerce, BE NKY and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky partnership produces $80K impact for local businesses

Fort Mitchell, KY – An unprecedented event in modern history has produced a response unparalleled by anything previously seen in Northern Kentucky – and more than one hundred local restaurants and bars have benefited from the outpour of support.

The NKY Restaurant Relief Fund, a joint project of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, BE NKY and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, awarded its final seven $1,000 grants Thursday, April 30. The winners of the grants were announced during the live broadcast of the NKY Chamber’s weekly podcast, Northern Kentucky Spotlight with Kathrine Nero.

Established to assist local restaurants and bars forced to temporarily cease in-person dining because of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, the fund saw some $37,000 in donations. Combined with almost $44,000 in gift card/gift certificate receipts uploaded to the fund’s website from supporters across the region, the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund effort made a total economic impact of just over $80,000, all of which went directly to local bars and restaurants.

The recipients of the final seven $1,000 grants announced Thursday, April 30, were:

“We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the community and our friends and family during this chaotic time,” said Kristin Steuber, co-owner of The Gruff in Covington. “It’s encouraging to see the support for restaurants continue to grow even as our economy is facing uncertainty. It shows how vital small businesses are for our community.”

The NKY Restaurant Relief fund operated as follows: After purchasing a $50 minimum gift card/gift certificate to any qualifying Northern Kentucky restaurant or bar, an individual could then upload a copy of their receipt, address and contact information to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website. This would automatically nominate the restaurant or bar where the gift card was purchased for a one-time $1,000 grant, which were chosen via a random drawing. Restaurants needed to be locally owned and operated to be eligible.

The fund was originally slated to be a two-week program to award $1,000 grants to 20 establishments but was expanded to three weeks, and 37 recipients due to the generosity of donors, which included among others Main Street Ventures, the Dave and Cindy Knox Family Fund, Woods Hardware/ACME Lock, Marilyn Scripps, Urban Sites, and Julie Kirkpatrick, all of whom came together for the support of Northern Kentucky businesses.

Also announced Thursday was the winner of a grand prize from Ultimate Air Shuttle – Jim Guthrie – who will receive a pair of tickets to a future flight of his choice for his bar/restaurant nomination when he uploaded a gift card/gift certificate reciept to the NKY Restaurant Relief website.

NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper says the response to the fund is a testament to the spirit of the people who call Northern Kentucky home.

“The support that has been shown to the NKY Restaurant Relief fund has exceeded my greatest expectations,” Cooper said. “To see how people have come together to help others in the circumstance we currently find ourselves should not only be a great source of pride for these bars and restaurants, but all of Northern Kentucky.”

BE NKY President and CEO Lee Crume hopes the fund inspires people to continue to look for ways to help other businesses in need throughout the region.

“This fund was started because people saw a need and came together to provide relief to Northern Kentucky’s restaurants,” said Crume. “This is a great example of how people helping one another can bring a community together. We hope this will inspire others to find creative ways to support other industries.”

Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson agrees.

“A simple idea has resulted in a venture that has enabled one of our hardest hit industries to keep doors open, continue to employ hundreds of people and provide a great service throughout the community,” said Grayson. “We would like to thank everyone who has directly or indirectly supported this fund financially or through word-of-mouth as the indelible spirit of Northern Kentucky continues to persevere.”

For more information, visit the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website at nkychamber.com/nkyrestaurantrelief, www.horizonfunds.org or email info@BE-NKY.com.


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