Home » Grants offered to minority-, women-, veteran-owned small business in NKY

Grants offered to minority-, women-, veteran-owned small business in NKY

NKY Chamber, Duke Energy Foundation, Blue North to Provide $50,000

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. — The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber), Duke Energy Foundation and Blue North are partnering to support small business by providing grants for minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses located in Northern Kentucky.

The Duke Energy Foundation and Blue North will each provide $25,000 to the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Foundation, bringing the total amount of funds for the NKY Small Business Grants for Minority-, Women- and Veteran-Owned Businesses to $50,000.

The NKY Small Business Grants for Minority-, Women- and Veteran-Owned Businesses will be allocated in varying amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000. Funds will be awarded to businesses with 50 or fewer employees that are Duke Energy small business customers located in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. The funds may be used for a broad array of expenditures, including but not limited to physical space adaptability and beautification, technology improvements, talent sourcing, job posting fees, and/or professional development training costs. Ineligible expenses include payroll, incentive pay, rent and utilities.

“Executing our ambitious energy transition requires a supply chain ecosystem that is resilient, innovative, and intwined in the communities we serve,” said Amy Spiller, Duke Energy’s Ohio Kentucky president. “Diverse businesses bring agility, flexibility and local expertise, and through this funding, we hope to break down barriers to progress and help open doors of opportunity to grow and thrive.”

Blue North’s funding will come from the organization’s Northern Kentucky Entrepreneurship Fund which focuses on supporting Northern Kentucky-based entrepreneurs and organizations. The Fund was launched in 2023 in partnership with the RC Durr Foundation and recently announced additional support from the Truist Foundation.

“Since launching the NKY Entrepreneur Fund, 26 Northern Kentucky entrepreneurs have received grants through Blue North’s partnership with Main St Ventures,” said Dave Knox, executive director for Blue North. “We’re excited to launch our second partnership with the NKY Chamber and the Duke Energy Foundation to further this impact and support the entrepreneurs that are the backbone of our community.”

To be considered a minority-owned business, a company must be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by at least one Asian-Indian, Asian-Pacific, Black, Hispanic or Native American individual. Women-owned businesses must be at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by one or more women and a woman must lead the company’s day-to-day activities. Veteran-owned businesses are defined as having at least 51% of the business directly and unconditionally owned by one or more veterans or service-disabled veterans.

“Small businesses – especially those owned and operated by women, veterans and others with minority status in our community – are critical to the economic growth and vitality of our region,” said Nancy Spivey, vice president of talent strategies at the NKY Chamber. “We’re grateful to the Duke Energy Foundation, Blue North, and the Northern Kentucky Entrepreneur Fund for their generous support of this grant program.”

Award recipients will be selected by an application review panel of NKY Chamber members in good standing. Grant award winners will be notified prior to a public announcement held in concert with “Small Business Saturday” on Nov. 30, 2024. More than 300 businesses have applied for NKY Small Business Grants for Minority-, Women- and Veteran-owned Businesses since the program’s inception in 2020, with 41 local businesses receiving assistance.

Applications are open now through Oct. 1, 2024. Those interested in applying can do so at www.nkychamber.com/talent. Questions can be directed to Nancy Spivey, vice president of talent strategies, at 859.426.3654 or [email protected].