It’s hard to believe how quickly COVID-19 has changed the business landscape. Every industry has been impacted and small businesses are being hit the hardest. Furthermore, it may feel like the resources and assistance available to Wyoming entrepreneurs during this pandemic are changing just as fast. New programs are emerging and others are adjusting. It’s important to stay up-to-date on small business resources during the pandemic so your business can utilize every available opportunity.
Help is Available
Several statewide resources offer assistance at no cost to Wyoming entrepreneurs. The Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network can provide mentoring on any business topic you may need help with. Our local advisors can also help you with applications for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Through our connections to other organizations in the state, we can refer you to the right person from either the Wyoming Business Council, the Department of Workforce Services or the organizations within the University of Wyoming’s Business Resource Network — just to name a few.
The Importance of Staying Up-To-Date
To give you an example of why it’s important to stay in the know, take a look at how some entrepreneurial assistance programs have changed within the last week. Keep in mind, both the programs I mention below may change by the time you read this. So make sure to check our COVID-19 resource page (updated daily) for the latest resources, news, and events.
Paycheck Protection Program Updates
Forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were initially launched on April 3 to help businesses keep workers on their payroll. Applications for this program closed on April 15 as funds ran dry. Fortunately, Congress added more money to the program and it resumed on April 27.
As recently as this past weekend (May 2-3), there were still funds available to help Wyoming entrepreneurs through the PPP. However, you should apply now if you haven’t already. There’s no telling how long these funds will last and we don’t know if they will replenish again.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans Updates
The SBA has offered Economic Disaster Injury Loans (EIDL) for years. On March 20, the SBA these loans to help businesses in Wyoming negatively affected by COVID-19. On April 15, the SBA announced it had shut down the application portal for EIDL loans and advances.
However, due to recent funding from the Congress, EIDL loans are once again available — but for agricultural businesses only. Additionally, the SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal closed. They will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
Navigating Small Business Resources During the Pandemic
All these modifications may seem like too much to keep track of, but luckily there is help available. Our experts at the Wyoming SBDC Network are staying on top of all these changes so you don’t have to.
To make sure you are utilizing the resources that are right for your business, contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance at WyomingSBDC.org.
About the Author: Jake spent 12 years working in television news before crossing to the other side of media as Director of Public Relations for Idaho State University’s health care programs — which make up one third of the university. Since 2017, he has overseen the statewide marketing efforts for the Wyoming SBDC Network. When he’s not in the office, Jake enjoys road trips, going to the movies and tackling new home renovation projects with his wife.