Wyoming $175 million COVID-19 business relief fund program to launch in August - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Wyoming $175 million COVID-19 business relief fund program to launch in August

Downtown Casper is seen on March 9, 2020. Only a couple of days later, global spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 would hit Casper’s economy. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) expect to launch two COVID-19 related relief programs for businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 during the first week of August.

That includes the $175 million “Relief Fund” and the $50 million “Mitigation Fund,” both of which should open during the first week of August, according to the WBC. The two programs follow an earlier “Interruption Fund,” which closed on July 2 but aimed to provide “immediate relief for losses during [the] initial months of [the] pandemic response.”

All three programs are funded through federal CARES Act dollars received by Wyoming which the Wyoming Legislature allocated to provide relief to organizations impacted by COVID-19 this spring.

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The WBC shares details of the “Relief Fund” program as follows:

  • Timing: First week of August
  • Funding: Up to $300,000; Cannot apply more than one time per program
  • Eligible Entities: Businesses with 100 or fewer employees and 501 (c)3, (c)6, (c)12, (c)19 nonprofits with at least one paid full-time employee and no more than 50 percent of time spent on lobbying
  • Eligible time frame: March 13, 2020 to application date 
  • Total Funding Available: $175 million
    • $50 million is set aside for businesses that were required to close by public health order and either received dollars from the Interruption Fund and have additional losses due to COVID-19 or were unable to apply in the first round.
    • $125 million is available to eligible businesses and nonprofits for incurred COVID-19-related expenses and direct or indirect revenue losses due to public health orders

While the funding is generally limited to businesses with 100 or fewer employees, the WBC says that “companies that have between 101 to 110 employees and can show good cause will be considered.”

In order to be eligible, businesses and non-profits must be headquartered in Wyoming or have over 50% of “their primary work located in Wyoming” and at least 60% of employees employed in Wyoming or 60% of business payroll paid to people living in the state.

“Eligible businesses and nonprofits can apply for both the Relief Fund and the Mitigation Fund but applicants cannot apply more than one time per fund,” the WBC adds. “Businesses that received a stipend from the Interruption Fund can also apply for these next funds. Recipients are not required to pay back the funds; however, all funds received through the COVID-19 Business Relief Program are considered taxable income.”

The WBC also provides examples on their Relief Fund webpage on how businesses and nonprofits can calculate their stipend amount.

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.