The city of Covington has awarded five small businesses with financial incentives in order to help them with rent and façade improvements.

At a recent Board of Commissioners legislative meeting, the commission approved two rent-subsidy and three façade improvement incentives through the city’s Small Business Development Program.

The program sets aside $150,000 each fiscal year to help businesses in three specific areas: improving the exterior’s of the business’s building, helping pay their first-year rent and restoring historic electric business signs. Between 2019 and 2022, the program has assisted 120 businesses or projects and supported 35 businesses that are black-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned.

“We have a new popsicle shop in the Eastside that will also produce sweet treats for stores around the region, joining our growing micro-manufacturing sector; a historic corner building that will be rehabbed back into its original commercial use in Wallace Woods; a growing tech business that will expand its payroll by almost $600,000 over the next year, and more,” said Covington’s Assistant Economic Development Director Sarah Allan.

Last Tuesday’s allotments were the third of the current fiscal year, leaving $48,684 available to be awarded before June 30.

Honey Child Artisan Pops

Located at 1204 Scott Blvd., Honey Child Artisan Pops is a black-owned, woman-owned business that makes hand-crafted popsicles free of cane sugar, dairy and gluten. Substituted in their place are ingredients like maple syrup, honey and plant-based proteins.

“Honey Child Pops makes delicious, better-for-you frozen treats while also seeking to build, grow and sustain healthier communities,” said owner Sarah Thompson.

A $4,710 rent subsidy was granted to Honey Child Artisan Pops for the business’ three-year lease.

“Covington is the perfect fit for us because of its strong support of small businesses and active local community,” Thompson said. “The rent-subsidy grant will help us during that crucial first year when we need to recover from the cost of building out a space and as we learn how to best serve our new community.”

Nichefire, Inc.

A $6,000 rent-subsidy was given to Nichefire, a business-to-business software as a service company. Located at 7 E. 5th St., Nichefire is adding $583,000 in new payroll.

The business has a two-year lease and is located in Covington’s Central Business District.

Runion Capital

A $6,000 façade improvement subsidy was given to Runion Capital, located at 138-42 Pike St.

The money will go toward paying for a $12,250 façade improvement, which includes a complete repainting of the building, as well as repairing its wood trimming.

J. Davis Law Firm

A $6,000 façade improvement subsidy was given to J. Davis Law Firm, a black-owned firm located at 2001 Scott Blvd. in Wallace Woods.

The money will go toward paying for a $27,843 façade improvement, which includes installing new windows, rebuilding the entire storefront, painting and wood repair.

909 Madison LLC

A $6,000 façade improvement subsidy was given to 909 Madison LLC for the building located at the businesses namesake address.

The money will go toward paying for a $16,299 façade improvement which includes repainting the entire building, tuckpointing, new windows and new doors.

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