Wyoming Business Council Sees Nearly $300 Million in COVID-19 Relief Requests | Big Horn Basin Media

Wyoming Business Council Sees Nearly $300 Million in COVID-19 Relief Requests

Written by on November 23, 2020

Both the Agriculture and Endurance funds proved to be popular amongst Wyoming businesses looking for additional financial relief from the pandemic.

Both funds closed their application period at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18. The Wyoming Business Council has hinted these will be the final funds created for the COVID-19 Business Relief Program.

All the money for the funds offered thru the Business Relief Program came from the money awarded to the state of Wyoming thru the federals CARES Act.

$90 million dollars was available to Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers thru the Agriculture Fund. Those agricultural workers can receive awards of up to $250,000 each to cover COVID-19 related losses or interruptions to their business. All businesses seeking money thru this fund needed to be established on or before March 13.

As of Wednesday evening, 559 Wyoming agricultural producers applied for a combined $39.6 million in assistance. $20.2 million has already been paid out to applicants.

The Endurance Fund proved to be much more attractive to Wyoming businesses – by a wide margin.

Open to all businesses and nonprofits to cover COVID-19 expenses, each entity can apply for and receive a maximum of $250,000. $24 million was original allocated to the fund, which came from unspent dollars from the Interruption, Relief, and Mitigation funds available thru the COVID-19 Business Relief Program earlier this year.

2,830 entities applied for $243.7 million thru the Endurance Fund – well above the original $24 million threshold.

For now, the Business Council is prioritizing entities that haven’t received money through the earlier Business Relief Program funds. $18 million has already gone out to those applicants.

The Business Council suggested more CARES Act money could be pooled into the fund when it was first announced, but they currently don’t know how much will be available. Additional Endurance Fund applications will be processed so they can be prepared if more money is allocated.

The remaining money may come from the over $50 million currently unspoken for in the Agriculture Fund, but there’s been no indication of reallocating money between the funds.

In the meantime, the Business Council is focusing on finishing application reviews and beginning their program reports. Applicants can access their applications, check their status, and will receive email notifications by visiting at wyobizrelief.org.

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