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AGRICULTURE FUND

ABOUT THE FUND

For Wyoming ranchers and farmers who have lost revenue due to COVID-19 related public health orders or incurred related expenses

  • Timing:  Opened November 2, 2020, at 10 AM; Closed November 18, 2020, at 8 PM

  • Funding: Up to $250,000; Cannot apply more than one time per fund

  • Eligible Entities: Wyoming agricultural producers established as of March 13, 2020

  • Eligible time frame: March 13, 2020, to application date 

  • Total Funding Available: $90 million​

BUSINESS ELIGIBILITY 

  • Has at least one full time (30 or more hours per week) employee; Owner/operator counts as an employee

  • Established on or before March 13, 2020 

  • Headquartered in Wyoming or more than 50 percent of the company’s primary work is located in Wyoming AND at least 60 percent of their employees employed in Wyoming or 60 percent of the business payroll paid to individuals living in Wyoming

  • Must have been adversely impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or as a result of business interruptions due to a required closure or public health order

    • “Business Interruption” means any interruption to a business as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency and resulting closures. Interruptions may include those inside and outside Wyoming. These may include, but are not limited to: (A) Supply chain disruptions; (B) Decreased demand for products or services; (C) Required closures; and/or (D) Regulatory requirements that make operating unprofitable. 

  • Must show lost gross revenue and/or extraordinary COVID-related expenses

QUALIFYING EXPENSES

Agricultural producers are able to include actual expenses incurred in addition to normal operating expenses solely due to the COVID-19 pandemic in these three categories: 

  • Livestock feed and supplement costs 

    • Extraordinary expenses actually incurred between March 13, 2020, and the application date for the feeding of only livestock

  • Custom hire/labor costs 

    • Extraordinary expenses actually incurred between March 13, 2020, and the application date for contract work or specialized services physically performed on the agricultural operation. This does not include expenses associated with normal day-to-day operations (i.e. accounting and/or administrative services, lawyers, etc.)

  • Fertilizer, chemical, and seed costs 

    • Extraordinary expenses actually incurred between March 13, 2020, and the application date directly related to the production of crops, protein, and/or fiber

CALCULATION WORKSHEET

Use this worksheet to help you calculate your Agriculture Fund award amount.

VIDEO TUTORIALS

We've created these helpful video tutorials to help walk you through the application as well as instruct you on how to create a new business profile. Click on the links below to view the videos.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of losses is this intended to cover? What does “Lost Business Revenue” mean?


This fund covers gross revenue loss. Producers will need to compare their current situation to last year. This year's gross revenue is the total amount of sales recognized for the reporting period (March 13, 2020, to the application date) prior to any deductions. A worksheet is provided on this page to help you with these calculations. Lost Business Revenue is the substantiated revenue that would have been earned in the absence of COVID-19 related market conditions. Applicants must be able to substantiate their lost business revenue by comparing 2019 revenue to 2020 revenue from March 13, 2020, to application date, respectively.




How do I show the loss was related to the COVID-19 pandemic?


The assumption is that the producer’s loss of income is COVID-related because almost all losses can be attributed to the pandemic right now. You would use things like sale barn prices, spot commodity prices, etc. to determine losses as compared to last year/last harvest.




How do I calculate gross revenue if I raise sheep and cattle?


Gross revenue is calculated on your entire operation, not just one piece or part.




Is there an inventory payment for how many acres I own or lease?


No, this program is based on loss of gross revenue and extraordinary expenses due to COVID-19. See the list of allowable COVID-related expenses above and on the worksheet.




What are “COVID-19 Related Expenses” and what expenses am I allowed to claim for the Agriculture Fund?


COVID-19 Related Expenses are the expenses a business experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These expenses are in addition to normal operating expenses solely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only realized expenses incurred in addition to normal operating expenses solely due to the COVID-19 pandemic are allowable in these three categories: 1. Livestock feed and supplement costs: Extraordinary expenses actually incurred between March 13, 2020, and application date for the feeding of only livestock 2. Custom hire/labor costs: Extraordinary expenses actually incurred between March 13, 2020, and application date for contract work or specialized services physically performed on the agricultural operation. This does not include expenses associated with normal day-to-day operations (i.e. accounting and/or administrative services, lawyers, etc.) 3. Fertilizer, chemical, and seed costs: Extraordinary expenses actually incurred between March 13, 2020, and application date directly related to the production of crops, protein, and/or fiber




I haven’t done my bookkeeping yet. Can I make a best guess?


It is highly recommended that you base your application on actual numbers and not projections or guesses. All Business Relief Program fund recipients are potentially subject to audits and should keep detailed records of their calculations.




Do I add my off-farm income to my gross revenue?


No, gross revenue should be based solely on the agriculture operation.




Is there a step by step guide on how to apply?


A worksheet is available to download on this webpage to help you calculate your fund amount as well as a video tutorial to walk you through the application process step-by-step.




Why is the Agriculture Fund closing on November 18, 2020?


The federal CARES Act requires all funding be allocated and reporting complete before December 30, 2020. As such, the Wyoming Business Council must close applications for the Agriculture and Endurance funds on November 18, 2020, in order to have sufficient time to review all applications and issue and postmark all payments by December 30, 2020. For the last two funds from the COVID-19 Business Relief Program, the Relief and Mitigation Funds, it took the Business Council and State Auditor’s Office more than 30 days to issue $203.2 million in payments to 3,100 businesses and nonprofits.




Will these funds have to be paid back?


No, these are grants that will not have to be paid back. However, this is considered taxable income and you will be required to report it on your 2020 tax return.




Who can I contact for help?


We recommend you work with your accountant, bookkeeper, or local lender to collect necessary data to complete your application. You can also contact your local Wyoming Business Council Regional Director, SBDC Director, or a related agricultural association for technical assistance. For technical assistance, please call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-257-7844.




Are government entities eligible?


No, governmental or government-owned entities are not eligible to apply for the Agriculture or Endurance Funds. This includes tribal government-owned businesses.




Can I apply multiple times?


No. The Agriculture and Endurance Funds are mutually exclusive and you are only allowed one application based on your entity type (agricultural producer, business or nonprofit). You can apply for one or the other of these funds but not both and the maximum you can apply for is $250,000.




I received funding from the Interruption, Relief, and/or Mitigation Funds. Can I apply for this Fund too?


Yes, you are eligible to apply for these funds if you have COVID-related losses or expenses since your previous application date; however, you are only allowed to apply one time and cannot apply for BOTH the Agriculture Fund and Endurance Fund. Be sure to include any previous payments as well as other federal CARES Act grant funds received in your application. Those funds will be deducted from this fund’s total award amount.




If approved, how will I receive my money?


Businesses or nonprofits that are already set up in the state Vendor Management System will receive their award via an electronic funds transfer; all other businesses/nonprofits not in the system will receive a check sent via certified mail from the State Auditor's Office to the mailing address listed on their application.

All applicants receiving funding under any of the Wyoming Business Relief programs will have their name (or business name) and the amount of any award(s) received listed on the Wyoming State Auditor's transparency website at wyopen.gov/wbc.

All funds received under the Wyoming Business Relief Program must be reported as taxable income on your next federal tax filing and the State Auditor's Office will mail out appropriate tax documentation. 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.




How do I apply?


Applications must be completed and submitted online using this website.




How do I know my application was submitted?


After you submit your application, you will receive an email confirming the successful submission and a unique application number. Throughout the review process, you will receive multiple emails from the Wyoming Business Council. Please be sure to check your SPAM filters to make sure you are receiving this important correspondence.




How long will it take to know if my application is approved and to receive funding?


Timing to receive funding after approval depends on a number of factors; however, most applicants should receive their funds within 21 business days from start of their review date.




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 FIVE (5) calendar days of the application denial date. 

  • After FIVE (5) calendar days the application will no longer be eligible for funding.
  • Denied applications may appeal with a typed summary of business’ activities, history, industry, etc. plus one or more of the following documentation:
    • Tax Return forms filed with the IRS; (B) 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 FIVE (5) calendar 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.




If I receive funding will I be audited?


All COVID-19 Business Relief Program recipients should be prepared to be audited. The Business Council has contracted with MHP, LLP of Cheyenne to conduct third-party financial audits on businesses that received funds through the COVID-19 Business Relief Program. Entities that received money from any of these funds should be prepared to produce documentation used to complete their applications, which may include, but is not limited to the following information: - 2019 tax documentation (Schedule C, Schedule F, Form 1065, Form 1120, Form 990) - EIN Registration Letter (IRS Form SS-4) - Profit and loss statements - Income statements - Proof of other CARES Act funds received - Receipts and/or invoices related to COVID-19 expenses incurred Per program rules, the Business Council may conduct and contract for random audits of eligible entities receiving funding under this program to ensure awarded dollars are expended in compliance with state and federal law. Anyone 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 30 years and/or a fine of up to $1 million and Wyo. Stat. Ann. 6-3-402 by imprisonment of not more than 10 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000. Current rules may be found online at rules.wyo.gov.




What CARES Act funds do I need to include in my application and why?


Because the Agriculture and Endurance Funds are money directed to the State of Wyoming through the CARES Act, we must account for any other CARES Act money you have received in order to ensure there is not "double dipping" of these funds. Depending on your business or entity type, you may have received the following funds and must report them on your application. We have provided a worksheet to help you with these calculations. -- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance - ONLY the funds received for the EIDL Advance must be included, not the EIDL (Loan) that must but repaid and is not forgiven. This cannot exceed $10,000. -- Payment Protection Program (PPP) - ALL PPP funds must be deducted and included on your worksheet even if they have not formally been forgiven yet. -- Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) - ALL CFAP funds must be deducted. -- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - ALL PUA funds must be deducted. -- Previous COVID-19 Business Relief Program funds - Any money received through the Interruption, Relief or Mitigation funds must be deducted. -- Any other CARES Act funding received must also be deducted.




What forms or additional information do I need to complete my application or verify my business?


As part of our process to verify that we are doing our best to serve true Wyoming businesses, we review each application in a multi-step process. Sometimes we have some trouble with the initial verification and we may ask you to provide additional information. If we need more information from you, you will get an email from wbc.brp@wyo.gov. It will be helpful to have the following available: -- If you file your business taxes with your personal taxes, please provide the 2019 Schedule C or F -- If you file as a partnership, please upload your 2019 Form 1065 -- If you are a corporation, we will need your 2019 Form 1120 -- Nonprofits will need to provide their 2019 Form 990. In order to expedite payment of awards by the State Auditor's Office, please be careful that all information provided on your application matches your IRS tax documentation. -- If you applied using an Employer ID Number (EIN), you should reference your IRS form SS-4 to verify your EIN and Business Legal Name match on your application down to the last letter. -- If you applied as a Single Member LLC or Sole Proprietor using your Social Security Number (SSN), please ensure your SSN is entered correctly and matches your Business Representative Name exactly.




Is there a minimum or maximum number of full-time employees required to apply for the Agriculture Fund?


Wyoming farmers or ranchers must have at least one full-time employee (30 or more hours per week) in order to apply for this Fund. Owners/operators may qualify as the one required employee.




How will I hear from the State of Wyoming regarding my application?


Depending on the correspondence or information needed, you might hear from the Wyoming Business Council, Secretary of State or State Auditor's Office in a number of ways: • By email (wbc.brp@wyo.gov) to the email listed in your application - be sure to check your SPAM filter! • By SMS text message to the cell phone # you provided in your application • By phone if you have not responded to requests for additional information • By phone from the State Auditor's Office as additional verification is required




What is "Gross Revenue?"


Gross revenue is the total amount of sales recognized for a reporting period, prior to any deductions. This figure indicates the ability of a business to sell goods and services, but not its ability to generate a profit. Deductions from gross revenue include sales discounts and sales returns. When these deductions are netted against gross revenue, the aggregate amount is referred to as net revenue or net sales. Gross Revenue is found at the top of your income statement.




When do these funds need to be spent, what can they be spent on and will reporting be required?


There is no requirement on when funds need to be spent and they should be used as you would typically use business income. No reporting is required; however, all award recipients are subject to audits.




Are these grant funds considered taxable income?


Yes, any funds received through the Business Relief Program are considered taxable income and will need to be claimed on your 2020 tax return. The State Auditor’s Office will issue all fund recipients a 1099 Form for “Miscellaneous Income“.




If I apply for CFAP2, how do I account for that in your calculation?


We recommend you use your best estimate of what you anticipate receiving (usually approximately 75% of request).




If we were not able to sell a product, like wool, does that count, even though we still have it?


We want to compare 2019 and 2020 on an equal playing field. If you were unable to sell in 2020, but did in 2019, please reduce the income in 2019 by the amount generated on that sale to have an accurate comparison. Additional expenses for having to hold the product longer than a "normal" year could possibly be included in the expenses if the additional expenses fit within the specific categories.




Who does the Agriculture Fund cover?


This fund ONLY covers farmers or ranchers who produce a crop, protein or fiber. (Backgrounders and feeders should consider themselves production agriculture and apply for this fund.)

All other agricultural businesses should apply under the Endurance Fund.




If we were not able to sell a product, like wool or our feeder cattle, does that count even if we still have it?


We want to compare 2019 and 2020 on an equal playing field. If you were unable to sell in 2020, but did in 2019, please reduce the income in 2019 by the amount generated on that sale to have an accurate comparison. Additional expenses for having to hold the product longer than a "normal" year could possibly be included in the expenses if the additional expenses fit within the specific categories.




In 2019 I sold my crops in January, not between March and November, like you're asking me to use for comparison figures. Can I still use those sales figures for comparison even though they don't fall into the exact dates requested?


Yes, if you can reasonably document the difference in 2019 and 2020 revenues by counting sales in 2019 that occurred outside the March 13 - November 2, 2019 window (simply because that's when you sold your crop or livestock), that is allowable.




Is the information I submit in my application a matter of public record?


Per the Wyoming Attorney General, all data entered into a Business Relief Program (BRP)application is subject to disclosure under the Wyoming Public Records Act with the sole exception of a Social Security Number. This, however, does not apply to supplementary documentation uploaded by the applicant, as such documents have their own exemptions in the Act. A disclosure about the Wyoming Public Records Act appears within the certifications language when each applicant completes their application. Also, all BRP Fund recipients will be listed on the State Auditor's Office's transparency website at wyopen.gov/wbc.