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. If you have questions about your application, please email wbc.brp@wyo.gov.

The Business Council is working on a new Agriculture Fund with $90 million allocated by Governor Gordon for agricultural operations in Wyoming that have been affected by COVID-19. Applications for this program are expected to open in early November. Stay tuned here for more information.

NOW CLOSED

INTERRUPTION FUND

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

NOW CLOSED

RELIEF FUND

ONGOING PANDEMIC RESPONSE FOR COVID-RELATED LOSSES & EXPENSES

For small businesses and nonprofits that lost revenue due to public health orders and/or 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

NOW CLOSED

MITIGATION FUND

REIMBURSEMENT FOR COVID-RELATED 

HEALTH & SAFETY EXPENSES

For all businesses and nonprofits that 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 October 12, 2020

INTERRUPTION FUND

- Closed - 

3,979

$100M

$98.6M

APPLICANTS PAID

FUNDS AVAILABLE

FUNDS PAID

RELIEF FUND

- Closed - 

2,650

$185M

$192.3M

$177.7M

$177.5M

2,409

APPLICANTS

FUNDS AVAILABLE

FUNDS REQUESTED

FUNDS APPROVED

FUNDS PAID

APPLICANTS PAID

732

$40M

$31.4M

$25.6M

$25.6M

686

APPLICANTS

FUNDS AVAILABLE

FUNDS REQUESTED

FUNDS APPROVED

FUNDS PAID

APPLICANTS PAID

MITIGATION FUND

- Closed - 

ALL THREE FUNDS

7,074

TOTAL APPLICANTS PAID

$301.7M

TOTAL FUNDS PAID

$325M

AVAILABLE

All Business Relief Program payments are posted on wyopen.gov/wbc.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the application review process and how can I check my application status?


Each application is assigned a unique identifying number. Wyoming Business Council staff reviews to ensure accuracy, eligibility, and completeness. The Secretary of State’s Office reviews for accuracy and to ensure the entity is in good standing and the Wyoming State Auditor’s Office performs a final check to ensure accuracy for IRS reporting requirements. Monies will be expended on a first come, first served basis. To check your application status, log into your account from the “Access Your Application” button at the top of the wyobizrelief.org homepage. The application tracker at the top of the page will show you where your application is in the queue.




I received dollars from the COVID-19 Business Relief Program (Interruption Fund, Relief Fund, or Mitigation Fund). What can I use those funds for?


Any money received from the Business Relief Program should be used to offset normal revenue that would have been realized were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic or to cover general operating expenses. If you entered any Extraordinary Expenses in your Relief Fund application, you will be required to report how those funds were used and provide information detailing those COVID-19 related expenses. Any funds not used or meeting the criteria of "extraordinary COVID-19 expenses" will have to be paid back with a two percent penalty.




I was approved for Business Relief Program funding, how will I receive my money?


Monies will be disbursed either via electronic funds transfer or by paper check from the Wyoming State Auditor’s Office. Checks will be mailed to the mailing address listed in the application. Businesses/nonprofits set up in the state Vendor Management System will receive an electronic funds transfer; businesses/nonprofits not in the system will receive a check mailed to the mailing address listed in their application. If the applicant applied for the Relief Fund and the Mitigation Fund, they will receive two separate checks, one for each fund allocation. All applicants receiving dollars under the Interruption Fund, Relief Fund, or Mitigation Fund will have their name (or business name) and the amount received listed on the Wyoming State Auditor's transparency website at wyopen.gov




If my application is denied, is there an appeal process?


Yes, applicants must first notify the Wyoming Business Council of their intent to appeal via email at wbc.brp@wyo.gov within three (3) business days of the application denial date.  After three (3) business days the application will no longer be eligible for funding. Denied applications may appeal with a typed summary of the business’ activities, history, industry, etc. plus one or more of the following documentation:

  • 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 
Failure to submit the aforementioned documentation within three (3) business days will result in denial of the application.  Any eligible business found using multiple methods (EIN and SSN) to apply for numerous awards may be denied any or all applications at the Business Council’s sole discretion.  The approval or denial determination of the Business Council is final.




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?


Funds awarded under these programs may be subject to random or targeted audits as provided in statute and program rules. Current rules may be found online at rules.wyo.gov. Knowingly making a false statement to obtain funding under these programs may require total or partial repayment of the funds and is punishable under the law, including under 18 USC 1343 by imprisonment of not more than thirty years and/or a fine of up to $1,000,000 and Wyo. Stat. Ann. 6-3-402 by imprisonment of not more than ten years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The Wyoming Business Council may use a third party to conduct some or all of these audits and applicants are encouraged to 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.




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?


Mitigation funding is intended to reimburse COVID-related expenses that an eligible business actually incurred between March 1, 2020 and the application date. “COVID-related expenses” means actual expenses incurred in Wyoming for the health and safety of Wyoming employees and expenses incurred by Wyoming employers to comply with public health guidelines for the health and safety of Wyoming employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and includes cleaning products, sanitizers, personal protection equipment, other safety equipment, expenses related to training and implement necessary and  required protocols to continue operating the business, expenses related to the hiring and paying of employees necessary to implement protocols associated with screening, safety, security, cleaning, and sanitizing business premises.  Examples of eligible expenses include:

  • Cleaning products
  • Sanitizers
  • 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
  • Gloves
  • 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
Examples of ineligible expenses include:
  • Legal fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Mortgage or rent expense
  • Lost wages or salaries
  • Undocumented items
Any expenses that have not actually incurred Expenses reimbursed from another funding source





REGIONAL DIRECTOR CONSULTANTS

Reach out to a regional director with specific questions and for more information.

AMY QUICK

Northwest Regional Director (Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie counties)
307.421.0140

HEATHER TUPPER

Southeast Regional Director (Albany, Carbon, Goshen and Laramie counties)
307.777.2804

ELAINA ZEMPEL

Western Regional Director (Lincoln, Sublette, Uinta and Teton counties)
307.877.2203

BRANDI HARLOW

Northeast Regional Director (Campbell, Crook, Johnson, Sheridan and Weston counties)
307.689.1320 

KIM RIGHTMER

East Central Regional Director (Converse, Natrona, Niobrara and Platte counties)
307.577.6012

MARCIO PAES-BARRETO

South Central Regional Director (Fremont and Sweetwater counties).
307.630.4679

PARTNERS

Special thanks to these partner agencies who provide valuable assistance and support to Wyoming businesses in the good times and tough times.
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RECENT NEWS AND UPDATES

Business Relief Funding for Agriculture Coming in November
October 14, 2020 
Relief and Mitigation Funds now closed
September 16, 2020 

BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAM ARCHIVES