CASPER, Wyo — The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) on Monday, June 8 successfully launched the first of three grant programs targeted toward small-business owners who suffered economic hardship caused by the novel coronavirus, according to a WBC release.
“To ensure the $50 million Business Interruption Stipend program reaches those small-business owners with the fewest resources and the greatest need, the Business Council prioritized those who did not receive federal CARES Act grant funding and were specifically named in state public health orders closing or restricting business operations,” the release said.
This priority includes:
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- Childcare facilities
- Trade schools
- Nail salons
- Hair salons
- Barber shops
- Massage therapy offices
- Tattoo, body art and piercing shops
“The grant application was designed with time-strapped sole proprietors and independent contractors in mind. The process usually takes a half-hour or less to complete. The Business Council and our business resource partners have staff available to walk business owners through the application step by step,” the release said.
The Business Interruption Stipend program is available to eligible businesses with up to 50 employees.
”Small-business owners have made it clear to us how busy and exhausted they are right now, so we ensured a fast, simple and secure application process to ease that burden,” said Josh Dorrell, Business Council CEO. “We want to thank all our business owners for the hard work they do to create jobs, contribute to their communities and strengthen Wyoming.”
Business owners are encouraged to reach out to our regional directors and the Wyoming Small Business Development Center regional directors or their local Chamber of Commerce director for help filling out the application, if necessary.
The Wyoming Legislature authorized three grant programs during its May 15-16 special session using federal CARES Act funding. Gov. Mark Gordon signed the bill May 20. The WBC expects to roll out the next two grant programs in early July.
“We won’t know how much of the $50 million in the Business Interruption Stipend program has been allocated until we start processing applications,” Dorrell said. “Monday’s launch was focused on receiving applications. We encourage business owners who didn’t receive federal grant funding and were mentioned in state orders to apply as soon as possible.”