By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon, the Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Department of Health are working together to quickly roll out a relief program for businesses that now have reduced hours of operation due to the newest health orders passed this week.
The program will use federal CARES Act dollars to reimburse restaurants and bars for income lost during the hours of 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., the times they are required to be closed.
“I want to thank everyone for joining together to protect their communities and also to support local businesses,” Gordon said. “We hope to have final details available this week and to start taking applications for relief funding for business owners who are helping to save lives by reducing their hours.”
Gordon has often spoken of the importance of keeping businesses open, and with hours reduced for the next several weeks, he said the support provided by the assistance program is is critical.
The Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association and the Wyoming State Liquor Association are helping to notify their members about the opportunity.
With Congress still debating an emergency stimulus package, the timing of the program will depend on availability of relief funding. Additional federal stimulus funds or an extension of the Dec. 30 CARES Act deadline could allow additional dollars to be directed towards this program.
“I have been working with legislative leaders so we can quickly change state laws if Congress does act and provides new relief to the states. I appreciate their efforts to prepare and be ready to act quickly,” Gordon said.
The Wyoming Business Council plans to release additional information about the program later this week. The WLRA and WSLA will also be distributing this information to their members as soon as it becomes available.
“We appreciate the Governor’s efforts to help offset the financial impacts some of our members will experience, and we thank him for working with industry on keeping our businesses and employees whole,” Mike Moser, Executive Director of the Wyoming State Liquor Association, said.
“This relief program is welcome news and an opportunity for the Wyoming hospitality industry to address lost revenues,” Chris Brown, Executive Director of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association, said.