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COVID-19 Updates

Business-Related COVID-19 Updates

Small Business Administration Disaster Loan

Small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans online at

Cares Act Funding for Kentucky Restaurants and Bars

In an effort to alleviate the financial impact of COVID-19 on Kentucky restaurants and bars, Governor Beshear has dedicated $40 million in CARES Act funding to provide qualifying entities with financial relief for business expenses.

Effective Monday, November 30, the Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet will begin accepting applications from businesses impacted by the temporary closure of in-person dining services.

Qualifying business will now be eligible for $10,000 in relief funding with a maximum award of $20,000 per business entity. Funding awards are available to businesses that are defined as follows:

  1. Business that hold a valid retail liquor by the drink license and serve drinks for on-site consumption; or

  2. Business that make prepared meals in single quantities one customer at a time for on-site consumption.

To focus on locally owned businesses, publicly traded companies are not eligible to apply. Please note businesses will be required to remain in compliance with all public health orders.

Additional eligibility criteria is as follows:

  1. Businesses defined as bars or restaurants;

  2. Business that receive less than 50% of sales via drive-thru services;

  3. Business must remain in compliance with all public health orders; and

  4. Entity must supply and maintain documentation demonstrating that the award was spent on permissible uses for a period of five (5) years.

Please note that entities that do not comply with the terms of the program may be required to return the award.

Awards are considered grants, but may be considered as taxable income. Businesses are encouraged to consult with your tax professional for additional guidance. Awardees will receive a 1099 for any award received.

Applications will be processed in the order received, and funds will be awarded until they are exhausted. Please note that only online applications will be accepted.

For more information, please visit

To access the application, please visit

For more information about COVID-19 response in Kentucky, visit

CARES Act Funding

As part of the CARES Act, the National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded funds to the Kentucky Humanities Council to assist cultural institutions impacted by COVID-19. To learn more, visit


Unemployment eligibility has been expanded to include self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious affiliated organizations and non-profits. To file a claim, visit

Healthy at Work 

The Governor's Healthy at Work initiative is a phased approach to reopening the state's economy and ensuring the health and safety of Kentuckians as they return to work. As part of Healthy at Work, the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet has worked to reopen state tourism attractions in an effort to generate revenue to boost the state's economy and offer Kentuckians in-state travel opportunities. Reopening tourism plays a significant role in generating revenue, opening business doors and helping more Kentuckians get back to work.

For more information on reopening, visit the Healthy at Work website.  

For the latest updates from Gov. Beshear, visit