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UW receives $2.4 million CARES Act to support business incubation; expected to create 368 jobs

University of Wyoming UW College of Business Building / COE Library (Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming said on Friday that they have received a $2.4 million CARES Act recovery assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).

UW says the grant will be matched with $600,000 in local investment and together the funding is expected to generate 368 jobs and $1 million in private investment.

The funding will be used to expand UW’s IMPACT 307 business development program which has business incubators in Casper, Laramie and Sheridan. The program is administered by UW’s Office of Research and Economic Development.

The grant support will also help launch support services offered through IMPACT 307. The incubation and support services will be provided “in digital as well as physical environments to respond to negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.” UW says the program aims to diversify Wyoming’s base of employers.

“This is in line with the Wyoming Innovation Network (WIN), a new initiative announced last week by Gov. Mark Gordon in which UW and the state’s community colleges are collaborating to support and train entrepreneurs and new business startups — part of an overall effort to support and enhance the state’s economy and workforce,” UW said.

UW President Ed Seidel said: “This funding from the EDA will allow us to respond to immediate needs in the state resulting from the pandemic, while setting the stage for future innovation and entrepreneurial efforts. The grant for IMPACT 307 dovetails nicely with the mission of the Wyoming Innovation Network, and we’re excited about the boost this funding will give us.”

The CARES Act funding provided through the EDA is among $1.5 billion the department has provided for economic assistance programs aiming to help communities “prevent, prepare for and respond to coronavirus.”

“EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance program, provides a wide range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic,” UW says.