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Fifteen more local bars, restaurants get $1,000 grants from Restaurant Relief Fund; another round coming

Fifteen local bars and restaurants will soon have an additional $1,000 thanks to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund, a joint project of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky Tri-ED and Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, and thanks to an outpouring of support, a third group will have a chance to win next week.

Organizers announced the latest group of bars and restaurants that will be receiving $1,000 grants from the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund during the live broadcast of the NKY Chamber’s weekly podcast. The fund is part of ongoing efforts to assist local restaurants and bars in the wake of the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic, which has forced local bars and eateries to temporarily cease all in-person dining.

The recipients of the fifteen $1,000 grants announced Thursday, April 23, are

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· Agave & Rye (Covington)
· The Baker’s Table (Newport)
· Bean Haus (Covington)
· Blinker’s Tavern (Covington)
· Chick-Fil-A Mall Road (Florence)
· Coppin’s Restaurant (Covington)
· Dewey’s Pizza (Crestview Hills)
· Darkness Brewing (Bellevue)
· Fort Mitchell Public House (Fort Mitchell)
· Graeter’s (Fort Mitchell)
· Herb & Thelma’s Tavern (Covington)
· Ludlow Tavern (Ludlow)
· Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar (Covington)
· Oriental Wok (Fort Mitchell)
· Tousey House Tavern (Burlington)

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 $31,000 worth of gift card/gift certificate receipts have been uploaded to the site in support of more than 100 area restaurants and bars.

“What a gift to have been selected as one of the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund grant winners,” said Yavonne Sarbor, who owns Agave & Rye with her husband Wade. “We’re thrilled about this contribution. With it we plan to seed our own employee fund – giving back to the incredible Agave & Rye team that has worked tirelessly to support our community. Thank you to NKY Restaurant Relief Fund organizers for taking such good care of local businesses. It’s proof that we truly are better together!”

The extension of the program also extends the extra time for gift card/gift certificate purchasers 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 on Thursday, April 30, during the Northern Kentucky Spotlight podcast which will air at 4 p.m. that afternoon. Receipts for the next winners’ pool must be uploaded to the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website by midnight Wednesday, April 29, in order to be eligible for the airline tickets, as well as the grants.

The fund was originally slated to be a two-week program but has been extended for a third week, largely in part to the generosity of Main Street Ventures who made a $10,000 donation. Additional donors to the fund include Woods Hardware/ACME Lock, Marilyn Scripps, Urban Sites and Julie Kirkpatrick, all of whom came together for the support of their fellow Northern Kentucky businesses.

Main Street Ventures’ Dave Knox says the success of the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund proves how strong both the community and its other businesses are in terms of supporting one another.

“For 20 years, Main Street Ventures has supported the entrepreneurial community in the Cincinnati area. It’s not all about “tech,’” says Knox. “The restaurants, bars, and coffee shops are the beating heart of each neighborhood on both sides of the river. We’re here to support any small-business owner, now more than ever.”

NKY Chamber President and CEO Brent Cooper is thankful for all the contributions and excited about the support they have produced for local restaurants and bars.

“While many people will focus on those that received the $1,000 grants, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out what this fund has done for all of our local restaurants and bars,” said Cooper. “This promotion provided not only much-needed income to dozens of restaurants and bars that exist throughout Northern Kentucky, but also raised awareness of how many terrific locally-owned establishments there are worthy of patronage and support.”

Tri-ED President and CEO Lee Crume agrees.

“Through a true regional collaboration, our community has united to assist one of our most affected – and most important – business sectors,” Crume said. “Our local restaurants and bars provide us with food, personal service and places to come together to unwind and celebrate special moments with family and friends. It is so inspiring to see our region come together now to support them.”

Horizon Community Funds President Nancy Grayson sees the fund as a great starting point for possible similar support systems in the future.

“The NKY Restaurant Relief Fund was not something that had been planned for years, months or even weeks; this is dozens of organizations and the public quickly coming together to respond to a situation requiring immediate attention,” said Grayson. “I cannot wait to see how many more small businesses and people become involved in this uncommon effort for our common good in Northern Kentucky.”

To nominate a local restaurant or bar for the final round of funding, or for more information, visit the NKY Restaurant Relief Fund website. Direct contributions to the fund can also be made by visiting Horizon Community Funds’ website; questions can be directed to info@northernkentuckyusa.com.

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