Nearly $707 million in payroll loans approved for Wyoming small businesses - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Nearly $707 million in payroll loans approved for Wyoming small businesses

Downtown Casper is seen on a Saturday morning in mid-April 2020. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. – Wyoming small businesses have been approved for over $707 million in emergency loans as of April 13, according to a Small Business Administration report.

The total number will be higher as days following the report are tallied.

As of April 13, the SBA approved 5,730 Paycheck Protection Loans in Wyoming, totaling $706,932,317

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The Paycheck Protection Program loans issued through participating community banks are part of an emergency package approved by Congress to address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The loans will be forgiven to employers who retain their employees even as businesses are forced to close during the pandemic.

The SBA announced on Thursday morning that the program has been put on hold after the $349 billion in funding ran out. According to the Associated Press, the SBA approved nearly 1.7 million loans.

Thousands of businesses who were awaiting approval must now wait for Congress to approve a Trump administration request for another $250 billion for the program. 

Lawmakers are arguing on whether to extend the program as-is or add new provisions.

“We are hopeful additional funds will be appropriated by Congress for the Paycheck Protection Program, at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect thousands more paychecks here in Wyoming,” said Amy Lea, district director for the SBA Wyoming District Office by email.

“All of regular SBA assistance remains available at this time,” she said.

Many banks are still processing the loans as they await action from the federal government. The number of approved loans is more than 30 times what the SBA processes in a year, according to the AP.

Nationally, construction made up most of the applications with just over 13 percent. Close behind was “Professional, scientific, technical” with 12.7 percent. Accommodation/food service made up nearly 9 percent.

Interactive maps below show data on the loans and unemployment figures for each state.

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.