The following information is from the Wyoming Business Council and provided as a public service.

CHEYENNE Wyo. | By BAYLIE EVANS, Wyoming Business Council   –    The Wyoming Business Council staff is spearheading the creation of the Wyoming business relief programs and working to ensure a smooth and simple process for Wyoming’s small-business owners.

The Wyoming Legislature passed a bill on May 16 that created three grant programs to distribute $325 million of Wyoming’s $1.25 billion allocation from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to Wyoming small-business owners who have experienced hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The programs are:

The Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend – $50 million in grants of up to $50,000 to independent Wyoming businesses that employ fewer than 50 people.

The Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend – $225 million in grants of up to $300,000 for independent Wyoming businesses that employ fewer than 100 people. The Legislature set aside $50 million of this funding for businesses explicitly closed as a result of state orders.

The Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend – $50 million for reimbursement of up to $500,000 in expenses incurred for the health and safety of Wyoming employees and to comply with public health guidelines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Business Council’s financing experts are currently working with Wyoming businesses and associations to understand and address specific nuances, write rules and finalize a process to distribute and track funds.

The Business Council expects to launch the first portion of the grant program and open applications for businesses at the beginning of June. The agency anticipates holding webinars at the end of May to help business owners understand the program, determine whether they qualify and begin applying.

Subsequent programs will be rolled out at a later date.

To prepare in the meantime for any of the programs, business owners can fill forms and/or sign up for updates on the Wyoming Business Council website, or follow the agency’s Facebook and Twitter channels.