Wyoming's $100 million COVID business interruption grant closes; 548 in Natrona applied - Casper, WY Oil City News
Oil City News Logo

Wyoming’s $100 million COVID business interruption grant closes; 548 in Natrona applied

Checkout lines at Sam’s Club in Casper fill up with shoppers on Saturday, March 14. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) said on Friday, July 3 that they are no longer accepting applications for a Wyoming COVID-19 business interruption stipend program.

While applications are no longer being received, the program received a second infusion of $50 million authorized by Governor Mark Gordon and the WBC says they “will be able to pay all eligible requests.”

2,082 businesses in Wyoming have received $49.01 million of the overall $100 million allocated for the program as of Friday, according to the WBC. 90% of the applications the WBC has received came from businesses with 10 employees or less.

Article continues below...

Overall, 4,012 businesses have applied for the grant funding since June 8. Natrona County accounts for the greatest number of applicants across the state:

  • Natrona: 548
  • Teton: 528
  • Laramie: 492
  • Campbell: 304
  • Fremont: 295
  • Park: 263
  • Sweetwater: 298
  • Sheridan: 248
  • Albany: 186
  • Lincoln: 119
  • Converse: 116
  • Uinta: 99
  • Goshen: 92
  • Johnson: 93
  • Sublette: 93
  • Carbon: 82
  • Washakie: 79
  • Big Horn: 61
  • Platte: 52
  • Crook: 48
  • Hot Springs: 30
  • Weston: 31
  • Niobrara:13

The WBC adds that people can review which businesses have received funding.

“The payments are posted on the WyOpen.gov website created by State Auditor Kristi Racines to provide the public with easy access to state of Wyoming expenditures,” the WBC explained.

The COVID-19 business interruption stipend program was created after the Wyoming Legislature allocated $325 million in federal CARES Act funding for three COVID-19 relief programs in May.

The business interruption stipend is the first of those three programs and provides up to $50,000 to businesses headquartered in Wyoming with 50 employees or fewer.

“The Business Council is processing the remaining Interruption Fund applications as quickly as possible,” the WBC said. “Businesses can expect to receive payment 21 business days after their application is reviewed. However, the average time between when an application is reviewed and funds are delivered to business owners has been about 10 days.”

While applications for the business interruption grant program are no longer being accepted, the “Ongoing Relief Fund” program for businesses and nonprofits with 100 employees or fewer is expected to open in mid-July. The WBC did not say when the third program is expected to open.

“For more information, contact your Business Council regional director at https://wyomingbusiness.org/contactus,” the WBC added.

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.