$80k in grants approved for Lexington businesses related to COVID-19 costs

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Source: Downtown Lexington Partnership

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Downtown Lexington Management District and Downtown Lexington Partnership created a Reopening and Recovery Grant program in June to support downtown businesses trying to reopen while adhering to new operating guidelines.

To date, DLMD reports grants totaling nearly $80,000 have been approved for 34 businesses to fund: interior and exterior improvements to accommodate customers, replacement of inventory, expansion of outdoor seating, the purchase of PPE materials, cleaning and disinfecting costs, and expenses related to rent and staffing.

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“DLMD is proud to continue supporting downtown businesses by funding this grant program. Our street-level restaurants and retailers are critical to the vitality of downtown, and the flexibility of this program directly addresses business needs as they navigate through the challenges these challenging times,” said James Frazier chairman of the DLMD Board of Directors.

The DLMD Board of Directors recently approved another $90,000 for the program.

The Reopening and Recovery Grant program street-level retail, restaurant and bar businesses with a matching grant to assist in offsetting costs related to the impact of COVID-19.

Businesses dealing with shutdowns and closures may face additional expenses to reopen safely. Eligible costs include: interior and exterior improvements to accommodate customers, replacement of inventory, expansion of outdoor seating, the purchase of PPE materials, cleaning and disinfecting costs, and expenses related to rent and staffing.

The grant offers a 75% match, up to $3,000, towards those costs.

DLMD and DLP have also announced a partnership with Kinetic by Windstream, in order to expand offerings to grant recipients.

Kinetic by Windstream is providing a matching technology grant to interested Reopening and Recovery Grant recipients with a free technology audit, free solutions roadmap to connect businesses with the best technology and up to $1,500 free services over the terms of the contract.

“At Windstream we celebrate local businesses, nonprofits and entertainment destinations that make Lexington a great place to live,” said Brian Harman, president of Windstream in Kentucky. “We hope that this matching grant will help downtown businesses reopen and stay open during this challenging time.”

Businesses interested in applying for the grant should email: ethan@downtownlex.com.

You can read more about the grant HERE.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!