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MITIGATION FUND

ABOUT THE FUND

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 on September 15, 2020

  • Funding: Up to $500,000; Cannot apply more than one time per program

  • Eligible Entities: Wyoming businesses and nonprofit organizations of all sizes

  • Eligible time frame: March 1, 2020 - application date 

  • Total Funding Available: $40 million in total.  

BUSINESS ELIGIBILITY 

  • No limitation on number of employees

  • Established on or before March 13, 2020 

  • For-profit, privately or publicly owned businesses

  • Headquartered in Wyoming or principal operations 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.

  • Any government-owned entity, including tribal government-owned business, is not eligible.

NOTE: Eligible businesses that received dollars from the Interruption Fund and the Relief Fund can apply for the Mitigation Fund. These businesses must certify new or increased expenses due to the public health orders.

NONPROFIT ELIGIBILITY 

  • Any nonprofit entity registered with the Internal Revenue Service 

  • Established on or before March 13, 2020 

  • Headquartered in Wyoming or principal operations 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.​

NOTE: Eligible nonprofits that received dollars from the Relief Fund can apply for the Mitigation Fund. These nonprofits must certify new or increased expenses due to the public health orders.

Eligible businesses and nonprofits can apply for both the Relief Fund and the Mitigation Fund but applicants cannot apply more than one time per fund. Businesses that received a stipend from the Interruption Fund can also apply for these next funds. Recipients are not required to pay back the funds; however, all funds received through the COVID-19 Business Relief Program are considered taxable income.

ALLOWABLE EXPENSES

Applicants need to show certification of actual COVID-related expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 1, 2020 for the health and safety of Wyoming employees and to comply with public health guidelines.

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

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If approved for a fund, 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 stipends under any of the Wyoming Business Relief programs will have their name (or business name) and the amount of any stipend(s) received listed on the Wyoming State Auditor's transparency website at wyopen.gov. All funds received under the Wyoming Business Relief Programs must be reported as taxable income on your next federal tax filing. 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.




I’m a nonprofit. Can I apply?


Any nonprofit entity registered with the Internal Revenue Service of any size can apply for the Mitigation Fund.




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.




I received funding from the Interruption Fund. Can I apply for this too?


Yes. Eligible businesses that received dollars from the Interruption Fund can apply for the Mitigation Fund. These businesses must certify new or increased revenue loss and expenses due to the public health orders between March 13, 2020 and their Mitigation Fund application date.




Are government entities eligible?


Governmental or government-owned entities are not eligible to apply for the Relief and Mitigation Funds. This includes tribal government-owned businesses.




Who is considered a full-time employee?


Someone who works 30 hours or more per week




What does “headquartered in Wyoming” mean?


Eligible entities must have more than 50 percent of their primary work 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.




What does “principle operations in Wyoming” mean?


Have more than 50 percent of your primary work located in Wyoming and at least 60 percent of your employees employed in Wyoming or 60 percent of the business payroll paid to individuals living in Wyoming.




How do I apply?


Applications must be completed and submitted online at wyobizrelief.org.




Is there a paper application?


No, applications must be completed and submitted online at wyobizrelief.org.




What is the application review process?


  • Each application will be assigned a unique identifying number.
  • Wyoming Business Council staff reviews to ensure accuracy, eligibility, and completeness.
  • Secretary of State’s Office reviews for accuracy and to insure the entity is in good standing.
  • 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.




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 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 three (3) business days of the application denial date. 

  • After three (3) business days the application will no longer be eligible for funding.
  • Denied applicants 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 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.




Will I be audited if I receive funds?


Funds awarded under these programs are subject to random 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.




Who is eligible to apply for the Mitigation Fund?


For Businesses:

  • A business independently owned and operated that was established on or before the date of enactment of any applicable public health order issued by the state or any local government of Wyoming (March 31, 2020) that required closures of businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Headquartered in Wyoming and has its principal operations located in Wyoming
  • Must have incurred actual expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or as a result of business interruptions due to a required closure or public health order
For Nonprofit Organizations:
  • Any nonprofit entity registered with the Internal Revenue Service may apply




What can the funds be used for?


Mitigation awards are 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




Can I submit an application for anticipated expenses in the future?


No, the application can only include expenses actually incurred between March 1, 2020 and the date of application. 




How much can I apply for?


The Mitigation Fund allows eligible small busineses and nonprofits to apply for up to $500,000 to reimburse health and safety expenses related to COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and the application date.




Can I apply multiple times?


No. You are only allowed one application for the Mitigation Fund and one application for the Relief Fund. The maximum you can apply for is $800,000 between the two (up to $300,000 from the Relief Fund and up to $500,000 from the Mitigation Fund).




How long do I have to apply?


Although there is no formal end date or due date, we expect demand for funding to be high and recommend not waiting to apply for either fund.




What documents do I need to complete the application?


Most applications will not require any attachments, but there are a few documents you’ll want to have handy before you apply: 1. The most recent tax documents for the business entity you’re applying for. For most businesses with an EIN, this will be IRS Schedule C or Schedule F, and non-profits will use IRS Form 990. Sole proprietors and some single-member LLC’s applying using a Social Security Number will want to have their most recent federal income tax documents. 2. Your business financial records from March 2020 to the date you apply, as well as your records for the same time period in 2019. 3. Records for any other federal COVID-19 assistance your business may have received, such as Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), as well as funds received under the WBC’s Business Interruption Stipend Program (aka Program 1).




How do I know if I need to provide my EIN or my SSN?


If the applicant is applying as a business entity, they need to provide the EIN (Employer Identification Number) that exactly matches the business' legal name on IRS registration documents. If the applicant is applying as an individual (i.e. sole proprietor), they need to provide the SSN (Social Security Number) that exactly matches the Business Representative's name as used for filing IRS tax forms.




If I claimed other federal funding in my Interruption Fund application, do I need to include it in my application for the Mitigation Fund?


All CARES Act-related funding received that will not be required to be paid back must be included in the application for the Relief Fund and Mitigation Fund, even if you included it in your Interruption Fund calculation. These funds include but are not limited to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance, and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).





NEED MORE INFO?

If you have more questions about this fund or the COVID-19 Business Relief Program in general and how your business or nonprofit can learn more and apply, below are some resources that can help: