By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Some financial relief will soon be available to small business owners in Wyoming, the Wyoming Business Council CEO said during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Josh Dorrell spoke during the conference alongside Gov. Mark Gordon and broke down the three grant programs created to distribute federal coronavirus emergency funds.
During the special legislative session in mid-May, the Wyoming Legislature created these programs to distribute $325 million in federal funding for Wyoming small business owners who experienced hardship related to the pandemic.
The first program in operation is the Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend, a program providing grants up to $50,000 for Wyoming for-profit applicants that employ 50 or fewer people and established their business before any public health orders were issued in the state.
This particular program has $50 million in its budget. Businesses will be able to apply on-line for the grants beginning Monday.
“In developing this program, we’re working hard to ensure security and simplicity so applicants can access those funds and continue to focus on what’s important: running their business,” Dorrell said during the conference.
He added applicants will not be required to submit supporting documents to apply for the grants, but they will want to keep information showing their businesses were hurt by the coronavirus for future audits.
The second program has a budget of $225 million and will provide up to $300,000 to businesses with 100 or fewer employees. It’s expected to launch in early July.
The third program has a budget of $50 million and will provide up to $500,000 in grants to Wyoming businesses. This particular stipend won’t have an employee requirement. It’s also expected to launch in early July.
Dorrell reminded viewers that the payments provided under the relief programs are grants and wouldn’t need to paid back.
Businesses are eligible to apply for all three grants if they meet the requirements.
“We definitely want to make sure this money stays in Wyoming and helps those businesses that need it most,” Dorrell said.