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Working together for a better NKY

Local organizations advocate for businesses and needs of community
Riverfront Commons is an 11.5-mile walking and biking path that runs along the Ohio River from the city of Ludlow on the west to the city of Fort Thomas on the east.

The Northern Kentucky region is known for its collaborative spirit. Several local agencies work together to support the growth and health of the community and its businesses, and to promote it as a place that is ripe for investment.

Here’s a look at a few of them.



Since its founding in 1987, Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corp. (Tri-ED) has led the successful relocation or expansion efforts for 670 business projects, representing more than 67,000 primary industry jobs created with a capital investment of more than $8.4 billion.

Tri-ED markets and promotes Northern Kentucky on a national and international basis as a desirable location for new or expanding businesses, and assists existing local companies to expand operations and grow their customer bases.

In April 2019, Lee Crume was hired as president and CEO, tasked with transforming the organization during a period of substantial growth and development of jobs in NKY. Several other new staff members were added to assist in that mission.

NKY Chamber of Commerce


The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is a leading business organization and a nationally accredited five-star chamber. It serves all business types and sizes. Its mission is 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.

From helping solve human resources issues and navigating bureaucracies to connecting businesses to potential customers, the NKY Chamber helps its members grow and market their businesses. It also is helping the region address both the current and future demand for workforce talent through local initiatives such as GROW NKY.

Led by Brent Cooper, president and CEO, the Chamber has 1,400 members across the region. It advocates for its members and the needs of the area, including infrastructure improvements and workforce development. The chamber exists “to be the voice of the business community,” it says.



The Northern Kentucky Area Development District (NKADD) is a collaboration of local leaders and staff educating and empowering communities by implementing quality services through specific areas of expertise in aging, community development, human services, and workforce development. It serves 62 local governments and eight Kentucky counties – Boone, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Kenton, Owen and Pendleton.

Southbank Partners


Southbank Partners is a community and economic development organization that coordinates activity with the cities that lie along Northern Kentucky’s bank of the Ohio River. Its purpose is to help the cities through promoting and coordinating development activities, fostering teamwork and collaboration, and providing a unified voice for the partner cities in advocating common positions to state and federal governments, as well as to other communities.

Recognizable accomplishments of Southbank Partners include the creation of the Southbank Shuttle, the Purple People Bridge and Developers Day. The Southbank Shuttle is a bus that runs every 15 minutes and connects the cities of Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Cincinnati. This transit system was originally conceived, owned and operated by Southbank, but as it grew in popularity, it was taken over by the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and became part of the regional transit network. It is now one of the most heavily utilized routes in the system.

The Purple People Bridge was also conceived and developed by Southbank. The L&N Bridge between Newport and Cincinnati was being considered for demolition. The leaders of Southbank saw an opportunity to create a pedestrian link between Kentucky and Ohio, which is now an extremely popular and heavily used pedestrian connection that is an important part of Newport’s urban core.

Among its ongoing projects is Riverfront Commons, an 11.5-mile walking, running and biking trail along the Ohio River that will link Northern Kentucky’s river cities: Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue, Dayton and Fort Thomas.

REDI Cincinnati


The Regional Economic Development Initiative (REDI) Cincinnati is the first point of contact for companies locating or growing in the 16-county region at the heart of Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana. It is supported by top business leaders and community partners and staffed by a team of economic development experts who are passionate about where they live. 

Northern Kentucky by the Numbers