COVID-19 BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAM
In May 2020, the Wyoming Legislature passed a bill to distribute $325 million in federal CARES Act funding to Wyoming businesses and nonprofits that have experienced hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. The Wyoming Business Council is distributing these dollars through the COVID-19 Business Relief Program, which consists of three funds - the Interruption Fund, the Relief Fund, and the Mitigation Fund.
The Wyoming Business Council CLOSED applications for the Relief and Mitigation funds on September 15. This action allows staff to finish all application reviews, begin program reporting, and make sure any leftover money is spent appropriately and according to the intent of the Legislature and Governor. The Business Council will announce details soon about how these funds may be used later this fall.
IMMEDIATE RELIEF FOR LOSSES DURING INITIAL MONTHS OF PANDEMIC RESPONSE
For businesses that directly or indirectly lost revenue due to COVID-19 local or state government health orders
Timing: Opened June 8, 2020; Closed July 2, 2020
Funding: Up to $50,000
Eligible Entities: For-profit businesses with 50 or fewer employees
ONGOING PANDEMIC RESPONSE FOR COVID-RELATED LOSSES & EXPENSES
For small businesses and nonprofits that have lost revenue due to public health orders and/or have incurred COVID-19 related expenses
Timing: Opened August 4, 2020; Closed September 15, 2020
Funding: Up to $300,000
Eligible Entities: Wyoming businesses with 100 or fewer employees and some nonprofits
REIMBURSEMENT FOR COVID-RELATED
HEALTH & SAFETY EXPENSES
For all businesses and nonprofits that have incurred employee and customer health and safety expenses that were a direct impact of COVID-19
Timing: Opened August 4, 2020; Closed September 15, 2020
Funding: Up to $500,000
Eligible Entities: Wyoming businesses and nonprofits of all sizes
COVID-19 BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAM RESULTS
As of 10 a.m. September 29, 2020
- Closed -
- Closed -
The Business Council is working through a multi-layered review process of all applications in coordination with the Wyoming Secretary of State’s and Wyoming State Auditor’s offices to distribute funding. These are important steps to ensure funds are used appropriately and according to program rules and US Treasury guidelines in order to prevent audits and potential repayment of funds with penalties.
Successful applicants of the Interruption Fund, which closed on July 2, received payment within 21 business days from the start of the review process. The Business Council anticipates a similar timeline with these programs, as well.
All payments are posted on wyopen.gov/wbc.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the application review process and how can I check my application status?
I received dollars from the COVID-19 Business Relief Program (Interruption Fund, Relief Fund, or Mitigation Fund). What can I use those funds for?
I was approved for Business Relief Program funding, how will I receive my money?
If my application is denied, is there an appeal process?
Tax Return forms filed with the IRS (Schedule C of IRS form 1040, Schedule F of IRS form 1040, any other form necessary to establish a business’ existence)
Documentation of EIN from IRS
I missed the deadline to apply for the Interruption Fund, Relief Fund, or Mitigation Fund, will there be any future opportunities for assistance?
The latest COVID-19 Business Relief Programs - the Relief and Mitigation funds - closed on September 15th and the Business Council is evaluating the creation of additional programs to utilize remaining federal CARES Act dollars allocated to the State of Wyoming. Our goal is to help Wyoming small businesses persevere through economic hardships created by the pandemic. Stay tuned for more details.
What is the audit process? Who will be audited, by whom and how? What information will be needed?
What information should I keep on file?
All applicants should maintain good records of how they calculated their application amounts and how they spent their Relief or Mitigation funds, especially their Extraordinary Expenditure Plan in the Relief Fund. All applicants may be subject to random or targeted audits per U.S. Treasury guidelines and state legislation.
Will I need to claim the funding that I received on my 2020 tax return?
Yes. All funds received under the Wyoming Business Relief Programs are considered taxable income and must be reported on your next federal tax filing. The State Auditor’s Office will issue the appropriate tax documentation to the mailing address on your application. Applicants are encouraged to work with a qualified accountant to determine how funds awarded under this program affect their tax situation; the Wyoming Business Council cannot advise you on tax or business matters.
RELIEF FUND: How do I need to report my expenditure plan? What if I am required to pay back any funds? How will that be handled and by whom?
Recipients will be required to report on how these requested funds were used by December 1, 2020 and may include submitting receipts/documentation/etc. to show how funds were spent in accordance with the program. Inaccurately reporting future expenditures or failure to comply may result in repayment plus a 2 percent penalty.
MITIGATION FUND: What can the Mitigation funds be used for?
Personal Protection Equipment
Other safety equipment
High-efficiency air filters
Expenses related to training to implement necessary and required protocols to continue operating the business
Expenses related to hiring and paying employees necessary to implement protocols associated with screening, safety, security, cleaning, and sanitizing business premises
Installing physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards
Face shields & face masks
Respiratory protection, when appropriate
Announcements, signage, and visual cues to promote social distancing
Thermometers for temperature checks
Expenses to promote telework and other social distancing practices that were required for an employee to perform the essential function of their job from their remote work location
Mortgage or rent expense
Lost wages or salaries
REGIONAL DIRECTOR CONSULTANTS
Reach out to a regional director with specific questions and for more information.
Northwest Regional Director (Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties)
Southeast Regional Director (Albany, Carbon, Goshen and Laramie counties)
Western Regional Director (Lincoln, Sublette, Uinta and Teton counties)
Northeast Regional Director (Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan and Weston counties)
East Central Regional Director (Converse, Natrona, Niobrara and Platte counties)
South Central Regional Director (Fremont and Sweetwater counties).