We interviewed Pat Frew from the Covington Business Council to find out a bit more about the organization and how they benefit and impact the global environment here in the Greater Cincinnati area.
Who is the Covington Business Council and what do they do?
The Covington Business Council (CBC) advocates for a positive business environment. To do this, they “support projects that grow Covington’s vitality.”
How has this impacted Northern Kentucky’s residents?
In the past, the CBC has worked with Duke Energy to help a building owner revitalize a storefront on Pike Street to turn a long-vacant space into a usable, and vibrant business. The CBC has also partnered with the Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile Jr. US Bank Foundation to provide funding to repave parking lots and add landscaping along River Center Boulevard. This work was part of the beginning of a larger effort to revitalize the area around the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and hotels along Third and Philadelphia Streets.
How does the CBC work with other Chambers of Commerce in the area?
Pat Frew himself emceed a Chamber breakfast and led a discussion on riverfront development. The CBC works closely with Renaissance Covington on non-voting privileges and is always looking to partner with the Mainstrasse Village Association and the Latonia Business Association.
What successes has the CBC seen from fundraising and networking events?
The Council raised nearly $50,000 at their two largest fundraisers last year, the Annual Dinner in August, and the May golf outing. Over 320 people attended the Annual Dinner and the golf outing sold out for the second consecutive year. More than 140 people participated! Overall, the CBC has raised approximately $100,000 in sponsorships in 2015 alone. Approximately 100 attendees join the monthly luncheons. For members only, the CBC has launched a monthly Hard Hat Tour series, showcasing many of the new Central Business District construction projects, including the Mutual Building, Doctor’s Office buildings, and townhouses.
What benefits do businesses see when becoming a member of the CBC?
CBC member companies receive responsive service to help them leverage their investment: whether it involves creating connections to city officials or to other CBC members who may have mutual business interests. Connections to other businesses are key to success and, according to Pat Frew, the Council “often introduces our members to fellow members they didn’t know they needed to know, but found out later should have known all along!”
What successes has the CBC seen in the past? What’s their proudest achievement?
In 2015, the CBC started a CBC Connects Business Building Relationship Meeting that happens every Wednesday morning at Gateway Community & Technical College’s Innovation Center that is free to BCB members. This meeting has brought together more than 100 business professionals in the past 10 months.
What events can you expect from the CBC in 2016?
The CBC wants to help transform the downtown area with flowers and incentive programs to beautify and brighten the area. A showcase of the work done will be held at the Annual Dinner in early August at the Madison Events Center, across the street from Hotel Covington.
The connection between local business and global economics.
Even though most of CBC’s work is done with small businesses on a local level here in Northern Kentucky, the CBC is well-aware that all businesses operate on a global economic scale. Through the work of the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs council, the CBC gains better understanding of what international groups are trying to make their mark in the Greater Cincinnati area and can pass that knowledge on to member companies.
Edited by: Colleen Rizzo, Global Education Intern