Small businesses owned by women, veterans and minorities on both sides of the river are eligible for a new grant program to help them stay in business. Duke Energy, through its foundation, is partnering with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and the Northern Kentucky Chamber to provide financial help to local women-, veteran- and minority-owned small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

Each chamber will receive $75,000 from Duke Energy to be distributed to qualified small businesses.

“We’ve continued to hear from our small business customers that they are having the hardest time trying to get funding to not only stay afloat, but to keep their doors open,” says Amy Spiller, president of Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “This is a way for us to have a direct impact on a critical customer segment.”

Both chambers will work with their members to identify opportunities and direct the grants. The relief grants can be up to $10,000 for a Duke Energy small-business customer.

The chambers will market the grant dollars to both members and non-members and seek out businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenues.

Qualified costs for recipients include payroll support, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and any other debt obligations. Recipients may also use funds toward legal or technical assistance for small businesses in navigating new federal and state programs.

For information on how to apply for funds through the Northern Kentucky Chamber, visit its website. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber details are available at its site