Wyoming Business Council: $50 million business relief program may launch in early June - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Wyoming Business Council: $50 million business relief program may launch in early June

General manager Andy Houck delivers bags of popcorn and snacks to a waiting vehicle at Studio City Mesa. The Casper-based movie theater developed a curbside movie snacks program after being forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors, which includes Governor Mark Gordon, are set to hold a special meeting at 9 am Friday, May 29.

During the meeting, the WBC says the board will consider emergency rules for one of three grant programs aimed to help Wyoming businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic: the $50 million Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend program.

Overall, the Wyoming Legislature passed legislation to allow up to $325 million in CARES Act or future federal funding provided to Wyoming to go toward the following three programs:

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  • $50 million for the Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend program
    • grants of up to $50,000
    • available to Wyoming businesses with 50 employees or less
  • $225 million for the Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend program
    • grants of up to $300,000
    • available to businesses with 100 employees or fewer
  • $50 million for the Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend program
    • grants of up to $500,000
    • aimed to reimburse costs of personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 response costs

Gordon signed the legislation into law on May 20 but further steps are needed to get the funding into the hands of Wyoming businesses.

“Pending approval by the Board, the rules will move to the next step in the rulemaking process,” the WBC says. “The rules are a critical step in the Business Council’s launch of the Business Interruption Stipend program in early June. The remaining two relief programs are expected to launch in early July.”

The WBC Board of Directors’ special meeting will be held via the Zoom online conferencing platform.

“The public is invited to attend the special meeting remotely by clicking here,” the WBC says. “Join by phone at 1-346-248-7799.”

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.