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Duke Energy Foundation provides $150K to support small businesses in region impacted by pandemic

Duke Energy, through its foundation, is partnering with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the Northern Kentucky Chamber to provide $150,000 in financial assistance to women-, veteran- and minority-owned small businesses in the area hit hard by the coronavirus.

Each chamber will receive $75,000 from Duke Energy to be distributed to qualified small businesses.

“We’ve continued to hear from our small business customers that they are having the hardest time trying to get funding to not only stay afloat, but to keep their doors open,” said Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “This is a way for us to have a direct impact on a critical customer segment.”

Both chambers will work with members to identify opportunities and direct grants to local small businesses.

The relief grants can be up to $10,000 for a Duke Energy small business customer. Those receiving grants should receive their funds next month.

“The Cincinnati Regional Chamber has a long history in assisting minority- and female-owned businesses. And, certainly, this crisis is no exception. We are proud to be able to leverage our expertise and help Duke Energy award grants to these businesses that need the assistance to not only keep their businesses intact but their livelihoods and families as well,” said Jill Meyer, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

The chambers will market the grant dollars to both members and non-members and solicit businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenues.

Leisa Mulcahy, managing director of GROW NKY and vice president of Workforce at the NKY Chamber, says the grant will work to help an often underserved segment of the business community at a time when assistance is needed the most.

“As we continue to move forward with the reopening of the economy, it is important we make sure we are providing resources for all the businesses we support – especially those that run the risk of being underserved,” said Mulcahy. “With this generous support of the Duke Energy Foundation, this grant will ensure that every partner in our business community will have an opportunity to survive and thrive.”

For information on how to apply for funds through the Northern Kentucky Chamber, click here.
Details on the grant funding

Qualified costs for relief fund recipients include payroll support, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and any other debt obligations. Recipients may also use funds toward legal or technical assistance for small businesses in navigating new federal and state programs.

Customers may not use the relief funds to pay for their Duke Energy utility bill. 

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