Nonprofits ineligible for $50 million COVID-19 'Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend' program - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Nonprofits ineligible for $50 million COVID-19 ‘Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend’ program

The restored Wyoming State Capitol building is seen at night on Feb. 11, 2020, in Cheyenne. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The $50 million “Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend” program is set to launch on Monday, June 8.

The Wyoming Business Council will administer the program and have announced that applications will begin to be accepted at 10 am Monday. Those who are eligible for the program and successfully apply can expect to receive funding within three weeks of applying.

That will not include non-profit organizations.

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Emergency rules for the $50 million program were adopted by the WBC Board of Directors on May 29 and approved by Governor Mark Gordon on June 2. Under those rules, to be eligible, businesses “must have incurred actual losses as a result of business interruptions due to the COVID-19 health emergency and required closure.”

“The program offers grants of up to $50,000 to independent Wyoming businesses who, as of March 31, 2020, employed 50 or fewer full-time employees,” the Wyoming Business Council said in a Thursday press release.

The $50 million relief program is not open to:

  • tribal government-owned businesses
  • government-owned entities
  • non-profit entities

In order to be eligible, businesses must have incurred business interruption costs after March 13, 2020, according to the rules. Businesses will receive awards of up to $50,000.

“This amount is determined by calculating lost revenue and COVID-19 related expense and subtracting from that amount the businesses Cost Saving Realized and any federal or state funding that the business has received to compensate for these same losses, including Paycheck Protection Program funds the business received and expects to be forgiven,” the rules state.

The emergency rules also outline a process by which the Wyoming Business Council will prioritize the awarding of the follows:

  1. First priority will be given to businesses which did not receive any federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and were required to close. Businesses that are deemed “required to close” under the rules include:
    • theaters
    • bars
    • nightclubs
    • coffee shops
    • employee cafeterias
    • self-serve buffets
    • salad bars
    • unpackaged self-serve food service
    • gyms
    • conference rooms
    • museums
    • restaurants
    • nail salons
    • hair salons
    • barber shops
    • massage therapy services
    • tattoo
    • body art and piercing shops
    • cosmetology, electrology, and esthetic services
  2. Secondary priority will be given to businesses in two situations:
    • businesses that received PPP funding but fall under the “required to close” list explained above
    • businesses that did not receive PPP funding but do not fall under the “required to close” list
  3. Third priority will be given to any other applicants

The rules also require that applications be accepted online. The Wyoming Business Council will accept applications starting Monday and provides information required under the rules at this website.

The rules also outline the WBC’s application review process as follows:

(a)Applications are received on a rolling basis until funds have been expended and will be reviewed in the following manner:

(i)Council staff reviews to ensure accuracy, eligibility, and completeness, with consideration to Section 4(a);

(ii)Each Application will be assigned a unique identifying number and be given prioritization, if applicable, according to Section 4(a);

(iii)Monies will be expended on a first come, first served basis, with the exception of the consideration to the preference in Section 4(a);

(iv)Monies will be disbursed either via electronic funds transfer or by paper check from the Wyoming State Auditor’s Office;

Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend Program rules

Applicants will be required to certify that they will only use the funds as stipulated in the program.

“The funds are requested to reimburse costs of business interruptions caused by COVID-19,” the rules state. “Applicant understands and acknowledges that failure to comply with these terms and certifications may result in the WBC requiring a total or partial refund of the grant funds.”

“Council staff may conduct and contract for random audits of eligible businesses receiving awards under this section to ensure awarded funds are expended in compliance with state and federal law.  By accepting an award under this Chapter, the Applicant agrees to assist and provide the information requested by the auditors.”

The rules also state that businesses which receive funding from the $50 million Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend program are not disqualified from receiving other COVID-19 relief from state or federal grants or stipends.

That includes Wyoming’s $225 Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend program and $50 million Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend program which are expected to launch in July.

All three programs offer funding available through federal CARES Act dollars received by Wyoming which the Wyoming Legislature allocated during a special session and were approved by the governor.

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:

  • 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.