360 Fireworks Party

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


by Michael Monks 
Sign on Pike Street building explains new Downtown
Covington incentives program
The City of Covington has launched an ambitious and highly generous incentives program to attract new businesses to fill vacant storefronts many of which have been empty for years. Never before has rent been so cheap and available properties so abundant, so if ever there were a time to reach out and grab the dream of operating one's own business this must be it. Mayor Chuck Scheper's mantra that Courage plus Vision equals Growth, or C+V=G, is now more than a metaphor for what the City of Covington can aspire to be. It is part of new physical signage adorning many of the storefronts that hope to be home to the entrepreneurial spirit of you or someone you know. 
But the monumental task of revitalizing the all-important urban core of the city we all love cannot lie solely in the hands of City Hall. Covington's viability as a destination for shops and the subsequent shoppers is the responsibility of all of us. The River City News toured Downtown along Madison Avenue, Scott Boulevard, Greenup Street, and Pike Street to highlight the many options available for new businesses. If you have ever wanted to own a business or if you know of anyone who has such dreams, educate yourself and them on all that our city has to offer. Take a look at some of these incredible offers that apply to many of the spaces: 
  • Vacant Property Payroll Tax Rebate The City offers a 50% rebate on payroll taxes for ten years from commercial and mixed-use buildings that are at least fifty years old that have been "significantly vacant" for at least three years
  • Upper Floor Residential Rent Rehab The City offers a 100% match of rehab costs up to $20,000 per unit for residential use on floors above a retail space (in the form a 5-year forgivable loan)
  • Commercial Rent Incentive Program The City offers a $500 monthly grant for one year (which is also available to existing businesses that expand their space by at least 50%)
  • Small Business Micro Loan Program The City offers a $5,000 loan when matched by the business to provide additional financing beyond private sources and lenders
During Mayor Scheper's state of the city address in January he said, "We are willing to invest in those who are willing to invest in our city." That "we" must encompass all of us in order for this to be successful. We must all be ambassadors for the city. There is a lot of competition out there as cities slink their way out of the Great Recession and Covington is not the only urban area with beautiful old buildings that sit empty. We must celebrate both the history and the vision for the future and we must start now. 

Downtown Covington is Northern Kentucky's original outdoor shopping mall and it is long overdue for the crown jewel of this region to reclaim its proper place as the center of commerce and culture. Do your part in this ambitious effort to revitalize Downtown Covington and help as many people as you can to Discover Covington, The Mosaic City, Where Then Meets Now
Click below to see photos of all the possibility that awaits in Downtown Covington.
Take a look at some of the new businesses opening or already open or expanding during this entrepreneurial renaissance in Covington:
McClore's Old Time General Store
Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar (L) and DJ's Sandwich Shop
Goodfella's Pizzeria
Hamelin's Square is home to several new businesses
Wolf & Co. Bistro
flow - a shop for men
Kenton Co Libriary expands Covington branch
Gateway College's Urban Campus in Covington
Wilmhoff Photography
Eros Salon
Madison Theater is expanding
Red Ear Brewing Company
Remedy Technologies

Bread & Spice bakery and cafe
And now, take a look at all the beautiful spaces waiting for you to give them new life: 

Interested in starting a new business and a new life in Covington? Call 859.292.2146 or visit www.MakeCovingtonHome.com
*Not all properties picture qualify for program, but many do!

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