$50 million Wyoming COVID-19 business relief program launching Monday - Casper, WY Oil City News
Oil City News Logo

$50 million Wyoming COVID-19 business relief program launching Monday

Sherrie’s Place owner Sherrie Lopez talks to customers during her first time open since closing in March during the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in downtown Casper. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Business Council will begin to accept applications for the $50 million “Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend” program at 10 am Monday, June 8.

“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 WBC said in a June 4 release. “Visit wyobizrelief.org Monday after 10 a.m. to apply.”

“Applicants will receive submittal confirmation right away, and should expect to receive grant funds within 21 business days after submitting an application.”

Article continues below...

The WBC is offering webinars at noon on Friday, June 5 and at 8 am Monday, June 8 to provide information on the $50 million Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend Program. Registration and links to a recorded informational webinar are available online.

The launch of the $50 million business relief program is the first of three the Wyoming Business Council is administering $325 million in relief to business for COVID-19 impacts using federal CARES Act dollars received by the state. Those three programs are as follows:

  • $50 million for the Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend program
    • grants of up to $50,000
    • available to Wyoming businesses with 50 employees or less
  • $225 million for the Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend program
    • grants of up to $300,000
    • available to businesses with 100 employees or fewer
  • $50 million for the Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend program
    • grants of up to $500,000
    • aimed to reimburse costs of personal protective equipment and other COVID-19 response costs

 “The coronavirus created a storm that no one could have predicted or planned for, and which left many businesses drowning,” WBC CEO Josh Dorrell said. “These grants offer a lifeline; they are a hand up. Wyoming needs its small businesses to survive this storm today for the state to thrive into the future. Businesses that apply for these grants and continue to operate will contribute greatly to Wyoming’s recovery from the pandemic.”  

The WBC’s website contains further information about the $50 million program, including the following:

-eligibility requirements

-an FAQ

-a grant amount calculator worksheet

-a link to register to receive Business Council media releases to keep up on the latest information about this and two future programs.  

Wyoming Business Council

Funding for the programs became available after the Wyoming Legislature allocated the $325 million in CARES Act dollars during a special session and Govenor Mark Gordon signed the legislation.

The legislation tasked the WBC with administration of the programs and Gordon and the WBC have worked toward emergency rules to get the programs launched, which the governor approved on June 2.

“The rules were adopted May 29 by the Business Council Board of Directors during a special meeting,” the WBC add. “The Business Interruption Stipend rules can also be found at rules.wyo.gov. They create a simple, secure way for the Business Council to put federal CARES Act money directly into the hands of eligible Wyoming small-business owners.”

The $225 million Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend program and the $50 million Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend program are expected to launch in July, the WBC adds.

“Eligible businesses will be allowed to apply for more than one grant program,” the release continues. “Business owners who have not received money from the Paycheck Protection Program, or who were specifically named in the state public health orders, will receive priority in the Business Interruption Stipend program; however, businesses who have received federal funding are still eligible to apply.”

“The Business Council has prepared a simple application and secure process to distribute Business Interruption Stipend funds as quickly as possible to Wyoming business owners whose operations have been negatively affected by the novel coronavirus.”

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.