small business

Forty Richmond businesses will have the opportunity to apply for up to $2,500 of COVID-19 relief funds beginning Friday, Jan. 15.

Tuesday night, the Richmond City Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Order 21-04, which approved the application form of the local, small business COVID-19 grant fund.

Richmond City Manager Rob Minerich introduced the document at a previous meeting and stated this was the result of a conversation between Sharon Cain, the city’s finance director, and Tyler Johnson, the community development coordinator.

“... (We) talked about this for some time and we applied for, received and accounted for the CARES money that we appropriated and we can make available this first time $100,000 to try to give local, small businesses relief,” he shared previously.

The document states the grant program is limited to businesses with 15 or less full-time employees, or full-time equivalent.

Properly filled-out applications will be reviewed by Minerich, Cain, and Johnson, who will then make a recommendation to the board concerning COVID-19 fund disbursements.

The motion to approve was made by Commissioner Jim Newby, and was followed by a second of Commissioner Ed McDaniel.

"We are trying to focus on the local, small businesses, and I think that is a wonderful thing," Minerich said.

An application will be uploaded to the city's website at starting on Friday.

In other business, the commission heard from Richmond Tourism Director Lori Tatum in regards to the All "A" Classic basketball tournament.

Tatum told the commission this year would be the 24th year the tournament — which typically brings in $1 million in tourism dollars — would be held in the city.

Originally, the event is scheduled for the end of January, but was pushed back for a tentative date of Feb. 16 through 21.

"The All "A" Classic Board, EKU and myself looked at the date and made the decision to push it back a little further to give more time to see how we are doing with the coronavirus," she said.

Also in light of coronavirus terms, Tatum said the tournament — which is normally only four days — would be stretched to five days for more chances to space out, and clean between games.

Additionally, only 15% of the normal fans are allowed to be present for gameplay.

"We are trying our hardest to make sure we can have and host this safely," she said.

However, it is still undetermined as of now whether the All "A" Classic will take place at all, as approval for the event is pending at the governor's office.

"COVID is very fluid, and we may not have it and the answer could be given a week before hand, but we want to have it," she added.

To volunteer to help with the All "A" Classic, contact the Richmond Tourism office at (859) 626-8474.

Other business:

• An order was approved by the Richmond Board of Commissioners award a bid for foundation system construction and repair needs project for Irvinton House on Lancaster Avenue. It was awarded to Anderson and Rogers Commercial Inc. and was paid for with funds from the Irvine McDowell Fund.

• Commissioner Mike Brewer was selected unanimously to serve as Mayor Pro-tem in the absence of Mayor Robert Blythe.

• Resolution 21-02 was approved unanimously in support of legislation of Eastern Kentucky University becoming the fourth, equal partner and stakeholder of the Madison County Airport Board.

• The commission accepted a resignation of Walker Crase, a Richmond Police officer. Officer Amanda Stasi was approved for a transfer of a new position of records manager. This puts the Richmond Police Department's staff at 59.

• The board unanimously approved the closing of South Robinson Road for the new construction of a roadway which will be property of Buc-ee's LLC.

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