Wyoming has been hit hard by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, which has forced local governments and businesses to close their doors and cancel events in an effort to protect the public and stop the spread of the disease.
These social distancing rules have been especially hard for small businesses, but local business groups, volunteers, and state and federal agencies have stepped up and marshalled their resources to help Wyoming entrepreneurs minimize the impact of the coronavirus closures.
Local Chambers Offering Support
Chambers of commerce around the state are collecting resources and getting engaged via social media to connect their members with important information. Here are some of the ways chambers in Wyoming are helping:
- Creating social media pages that list special hours and delivery/curbside pickup options of their members.
- Sponsoring challenges where residents are entered to win prizes when they buy gift cards from local businesses.
- Providing their membership with up-to-date information and weekly webinars to help businesses make it through these recent closures.
Volunteersfrom around the state came together last month to form the Wyoming Technology Coronavirus Coalition (WTCC) with the goal of minimizing the effects of COVID-19 through technology and community involvement. So far, they have coordinated personal protective equipment supply drives which have collected around $6,400 worth of desperately needed equipment — including N95 masks — to donate to medical facilities around the state. The WTCC also coordinated with makerspaces around the state to manufacture surgical masks and face shields for healthcare workers in Wyoming to protect themselves against coronavirus.
State and Federal Assistance to Businesses
The recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides financial relief to small businesses across the country affected by the coronavirus pandemic through disaster and paycheck protection loans, which are administered by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). The Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has trained advisors who are accessible virtually around the state and ready to help small business owners apply for these SBA loans.
What the examples above show is that the pandemic may have us separated, but it doesn’t mean we have to go it alone. All around the state, citizens from all walks of life are working together to help each other through this crisis. Through collaboration they are proving that Wyoming really is just a small town with long streets.
If your business needs assistance during this pandemic, Wyoming SBDC Network advisors are available to help you with every aspect of business operation. Contact your local advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance by clicking here.
For the latest COVID-19 (coronavirus) assistance, resources, and news, visit our COVID-19 Resources for Small Businesses page — updated regularly.
About the Author: Nicholas specializes in online marketing and search engine optimization. He also serves on the ENDOW: ENGAGE Council for the 2018-2020 term. ENDOW: ENGAGE is a statewide task force charged with developing a long term economic diversification plan for Wyoming