COVID-19 Resources And Strategic Advising
RESOURCES BY TOPIC
The Wyoming SBDC Network, as part of our emergency preparedness strategies for businesses, is ready to strategize with entrepreneurs statewide to develop individualized plans to keep your business running as smoothly as possible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’ve compiled a list of topics relevant to entrepreneurs in Wyoming. Our advisors are available anywhere in Wyoming to help you with these topics. All of our assistance is offered at no-cost and is completely confidential.
Information and COVID-19 resources for small businesses are changing frequently, so check back regularly for the latest updates.
Loans and Captial
Wyoming Business Relief Programs - (Updated: 8/6/2020)
To accommodate high demand for funding by businesses and nonprofits, Governor Mark Gordon quickly secured full funding for the current wave of the COVID-19 Business Relief Program.
More than 1,600 small businesses and nonprofits submitted applications by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, totaling nearly $150 million in requests for the Relief and Mitigation funds. The Wyoming Business Council initially set aside half the funding to accommodate potential future requests by seasonal businesses involved in agriculture, retail and tourism that may accrue losses later this year. The recent high demand caused the Business Council to release all the funding.
“The release of the full allocation of funds will help meet the demonstrated needs of those businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic already, ” Governor Gordon said. “I want to ensure that Wyoming’s businesses and its economy stay healthy and Wyomingites are able to keep working.”
“We encourage all eligible entities to apply now as we are unsure how long the money will last,” Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said.
Go to wyobizrelief.org to stay informed about program details and to register to receive Business Council news releases.
WBC Relief and Mitigation grant applications are now open!
A second round of relief funding is being discussed and applications will be accepted sometime during the first week of August.
Timing: First week of August
Funding: Up to $300,000; Cannot apply more than one time per program
Eligible Entities: Businesses with 100 or fewer employees and 501 (c)3, (c)6, (c)12, (c)19 nonprofits with at least one paid full-time employee and no more than 50 percent of time spent on lobbying
Eligible time frame: March 13, 2020 to application date
Total Funding Available: $175 million
$50 million is set aside for businesses that were required to close by public health order and either received dollars from the Interruption Fund and have additional losses due to COVID-19 or were unable to apply in the first round.
$125 million is available to eligible businesses and nonprofits for incurred COVID-19-related expenses and direct or indirect revenue losses due to public health orders
The application process has now closed for the Business Interruption Stipend grant as of 7/2/2020
As of midday Friday (6/12), the Wyoming Business Council (WBC) had received more than $60 million in Business Relief Stipend program applications and had approved $2.95 million of applications for payment.
The WBC is still accepting applications for the Business Interruption Stipend. Program eligibility, more information and the application link are available at wyobizrelief.org.
The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) encourages business owners who did not receive Payment Protection Program funding and were directly affected by state public health orders to apply by 1 p.m. on 6/11/2020 to retain priority status for the Business Interruption Stipend program.
Business Council staff is currently reviewing applications from business owners who did not receive federal assistance AND whose types of businesses were named in state orders enacted to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Beginning 1 p.m. Thursday, staff will also review applications for businesses that EITHER didn’t receive federal assistance OR were affected by state orders.
As 6/10/2020, the WBC has received 2,083 applications and has approved $1.33 million for payment.
The Wyoming Legislature crafted three grant programs during a special session May 15-16 to distribute $325 million in federal CARES Act funding for Wyoming small-business owners who have experienced hardship related to COVID-19. Governor Mark Gordon signed the bill on May 20.
The Wyoming Business Council is working to stand up the three relief programs as quickly as possible while ensuring the application process is secure, accessible and easy to use.
Click here to learn more about these programs, how to apply, and about events to help Wyoming entrepreneurs participate.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with these programs. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans - (Updated: 8/25/2020)
The SBA has released a list of Frequently Asked Questions with answers to cover your questions about EIDL. Find this helpful resource here https://sba.app.box.com/s/q4d09lgo4p2aytl6f7ownp6ubx2a5y3s
SBA has become aware of certain suspicious activity associated with the COVID-19 EIDL loan program. SBA is requesting the assistance of depository financial institutions in identifying and reporting suspicious activity to SBA as well as to other appropriate regulatory agencies. Examples of COVID-19 EIDL suspicious activity include, but are not limited to, the following:
-Use of stolen identities or EIN or SSN numbers to qualify for the EIDL advance or EIDL loan.
Purported businesses, including front or shell companies, lacking indicia of operating presence or history, receiving EIDL advances or EIDL loans.
-Applicants working with third parties to obtain EIDL advances or EIDL loans in exchange for keeping a percentage of the funds.
-Account holders that are victims of social engineering schemes and may not know that the source of the funds is an EIDL advance or EIDL loan.
-A customer advises a financial institution that the customer received a COVID-19 EIDL ACH deposit from “SBAD TREAS 310” and “Origin No. 10103615” into their account, but did not apply for a COVID-19 EIDL loan.
-A customer receives a COVID-19 EIDL ACH deposit after the financial institution previously denied the customer’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application, particularly where the financial institution identified inaccurate or incomplete information in the customer’s PPP loan application.
Additionally, depository financial institutions are encouraged to examine the following transactions more closely to determine if they constitute COVID-19 EIDL suspicious activity:
-A customer not known to be a small business, sole proprietor, or independent contractor receives a lump sum COVID-19 EIDL ACH deposit from “SBAD TREAS 310” and “Origin No. 10103615” into a personal account.
-A new customer opens an account and shortly thereafter receives a COVID-19 EIDL ACH lump sum deposit from “SBAD TREAS 310” and “Origin No. 10103615”.
-A single account receives multiple EIDL advance or multiple EIDL loan deposits.
To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19.
SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
SBA’s COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance
- The SBA is offering low interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories.
- These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- To keep payments affordable for small businesses, SBA offers loans with long repayment terms, up to a maximum of 30 years. Plus, the first payment is deferred for one year.
- In addition, small businesses and non-profits may request, as part of their loan application, an EIDL Advance of up to $10,000. The EIDL Advance is designed to provide emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This advance will not have to be repaid, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.
- SBA’s EIDL and EIDL Advance are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response.
- The SBA is also assisting small businesses and non-profits with access to the federal forgivable loan program, the Paycheck Protection Program, which is currently accepting applications until June 30, 2020.
For additional information, please visit the SBA disaster assistance website at SBA.gov/Disaster.
If you have previously submitted an application and have an application number that begins with a “2”, you must reapply immediately to make sure your application is processed. This applies to ALL businesses, not just agricultural businesses.
Currently, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is accepting new applications from agriculture businesses only. Please click here to learn more.
For non-agriculture businesses: Due to limited appropriations funding, the U.S. Small Business Administration is currently not accepting applications from non-agriculture businesses for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
If you have started an EILD application or are gathering your documents, please continue to do so. If more money is appropriated, then you will want to be prepared with your applications. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Small businesses may also apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
SBA Loan Debt Relief - (Updated: 4/14/2020)
As part of SBA’s debt relief efforts,
- The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
- The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
If you have other loans not mentioned above, talk to your banker as soon as possible to plan short-term financing options. Inquire about the SBA Federal Disaster Loans, interest-only payments, payment deferment, and refinancing to add working capital.
- For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.
- What does an “automatic deferral” mean to borrowers?
- Interest will continue to accrue on the loan.
- 1201 monthly payment notices will continue to be mailed out which will reflect the loan is deferred and no payment is due.
- The deferment will NOT cancel any established Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring payments on your loan. Borrowers that have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or an Online Bill Pay Service are responsible for canceling these recurring payments. Borrowers that had SBA establish a PAD through Pay.gov will have to contact their SBA servicing office to cancel the PAD.
- Borrowers preferring to continue making regular payments during the deferment period may continue remitting payments during the deferment period. SBA will apply those payments normally as if there was no deferment.
- After this automatic deferment period, borrowers will be required to resume making regular principal and interest payments. Borrowers that canceled recurring payments will need to reestablish the recurring payment.
- Review this comparison guide between the various relief efforts from the SBA.
If you have any questions, contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
You can read more from the SBA by clicking here.
Farm Loans - (Updated: 5/4/2020)
NOTICE: Currently, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is accepting new applications from agriculture businesses only. Please click here to learn more.
Producers can continue to apply for farm loans and get their current loans serviced. Farm loans are critical for annual operating and family living expenses, emergency needs, and cash flow in challenging times like now.
The USDA’s Farm Service Agency is relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.
- FSA is relaxing the loan-making process. This includes:
- Extending the deadline for applicants to complete farm loan applications;
- Preparing Direct Loans documents even if FSA is unable to complete lien and record searches because of closed government buildings. Once those searches are complete, FSA would close the loan; and
- Closing loans if the required lien position on the primary security is perfected, even for loans that require additional security and those lien searches, filings, and recordings cannot be obtained because of closed government buildings.
- FSA is extending deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions, including loan deferral consideration for financially distressed and delinquent borrowers. FSA will temporarily suspend loan accelerations, non-judicial foreclosures, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will make the determination whether to stop foreclosures and evictions on accounts under its jurisdiction.
- Guarantee lenders can self-certify, providing their borrowers with subsequent-year operating loan advances on lines of credit and emergency advances on lines of credit.
- FSA will consider guaranteed lender requests for temporary payment deferral consideration when borrowers do not have a feasible plan reflecting that family living expenses, operating expenses, and debt can be repaid; and temporary forbearance consideration for borrowers on loan liquidation and foreclosure actions.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with USDA resources. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Payroll & Taxes
Paycheck Protection Program - (Updated: 8/25/2020)
Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rule – Treatment of Owners and Forgiveness of Certain Nonpayroll Costs
The CARES Act was enacted to provide immediate assistance to individuals, families, and organizations affected by the COVID-19 emergency. Among the provisions contained in the CARES Act are provisions authorizing SBA to temporarily guarantee loans under a new 7(a) loan program titled the “Paycheck Protection Program.” Loans guaranteed under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will be 100 percent guaranteed by SBA, and the full principal amount of the loans may qualify for loan forgiveness. The purpose of this interim final rule is to provide additional guidance concerning the ownership percentage that triggers the applicability of the 5 owner compensation rule for forgiveness purposes and limitations on the eligibility of certain nonpayroll costs for forgiveness.
View this document detailing these stipulations here: Interim Final Rule – Treatment of Owners and Forgiveness of Certain Nonpayroll Costs
SBA & Treasury have recently released additional guidance:
o Interim Final Rule – Appeals of SBA Loan Review Decisions Under the PPP (Released 8/11/20)
o Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs # 50 and #51 have been added (Released 8/11/20)
o Frequently Asked Questions For Loan Forgiveness (Released 8/11/20)
o Summary of PPP lending as of 8/8/20 (Released 8/11/20)
Applications are now closed for PPP. Visit the SBA’s FAQ page for information on PPP loan forgiveness.
The SBA has released a guiding document to inform the lending forgiveness process.
“To receive PPP loan forgiveness, a borrower must complete and submit the Loan Forgiveness Application (SBA Form 3508, 3508EZ, or Lender equivalent) to its Lender (or the Lender servicing its loan). 1 A borrower may submit a Loan Forgiveness Application before the end of the 8-week or 24-week covered period, provided that the borrower has used all of the loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness and the borrower’s loan forgiveness application accounts for any salary reductions in excess of 25 percent for the full covered period.”
The House of Representatives passed the Prioritized Paycheck Protection Program Act (P4), extending the window for business owners to apply for PPP loans to August 8, 2020. The program’s authorization expired at midnight on Tuesday, June 30th. As of Tuesday, the Paycheck Protection Program had approximately $135 billion left.
In addition to the extension, P4 will decouple PPP from SBA’s 7(a) lending program and allow some small business borrowers to apply for a second PPP loan.
The U.S Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The purpose of this interim final rule is to provide additional guidance concerning payroll costs that may be reported in connection with certain PPP loan and loan forgiveness applications.
1. Calculation of Payroll Costs of Certain Fishing Boat Owners- May fishing boat owners include payroll costs in their PPP loan applications that are attributable to crewmembers described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Internal Revenue Code? Yes. The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that the relationship of a crewmember described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and a fishing boat owner or operator (fishing boat owner) is analogous to a joint venture or partnership for purposes of the PPP.
2. Calculation of Certain Payroll Costs Eligible for Loan Forgiveness- May a fishing boat owner include as payroll costs in its application for loan forgiveness any compensation paid to a crewmember who received his or her own PPP loan and is seeking forgiveness for amounts of compensation the crewmember received for performing services described in Section 3121(b)(20) of the Code with respect to that owner’s fishing boat? No. If a fishing boat crewmember obtains his or her own PPP loan and seeks forgiveness of that loan based in part on compensation from a particular fishing boat owner, the fishing boat owner cannot also obtain PPP loan forgiveness based on compensation paid to that same crewmember.
The U.S Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Under the First Interim Final Rule, as amended, an applicant is ineligible if an owner of 20 percent or more of its equity is presently incarcerated. In considering this amended Interim Final Rule the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that this restriction on eligibility remains appropriate because the operations of small business concerns present a greater danger of becoming impaired when their owners are incarcerated.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Under the revisions to the interim final rule, an employer that applies for forgiveness before the end of the covered period and had reduced an employee’s salary or wages by more than 25% must account for the excess salary reduction for the full period of up to 24 weeks.
For an employer that does not apply for loan forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the coverage period, or if SBA determined that the loan was not eligible for forgiveness, the PPP loan no longer is deferred and the borrower must begin paying principal and interest.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, issued new and revised guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This guidance implements the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA), signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020, and expands eligibility for businesses with owners who have past felony convictions.
To implement the PPPFA, SBA revised its first PPP interim final rule, which was posted on April 2, 2020. As described in detail in our announcement on June 8, 2020, the new rule updates provisions relating to loan maturity, deferral of loan payments, and forgiveness provisions.
In addition, as an exercise of SBA’s policy discretion in furtherance of President Trump’s leadership and bipartisan support on criminal justice reform, the eligibility threshold for those with felony criminal histories has been changed. The look-back period has been reduced from 5 years to 1 year to determine eligibility for applicants, or owners of applicants, who, for non-financial felonies, have (1) been convicted, (2) pleaded guilty, (3) pleaded nolo contendere, or (4) been placed on any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment). The period remains 5 years for felonies involving fraud, bribery, embezzlement, or a false statement in a loan application or an application for federal financial assistance. The application also eliminates pretrial diversion status as a criterion affecting eligibility.
SBA issued revised PPP application forms to conform to these changes. The guidance and revised application forms are available on SBA’s and Treasury’s websites. SBA will issue additional guidance regarding loan forgiveness and a revised forgiveness application to implement the PPPFA in the near future.
According to a joint statement from the SBA Administrator and U.S. Treasury Secretary, rules and guidance will soon be issued for the new legislation pertaining to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). There will also be a modified application form, and a modified loan forgiveness application. These modifications will implement the following important changes:
- Extend the covered period for loan forgiveness from eight weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks after the date of loan disbursement, providing substantially greater flexibility for borrowers to qualify for loan forgiveness. Borrowers who have already received PPP loans retain the option to use an eight-week covered period.
- Lower the requirements that 75 percent of a borrower’s loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs and that 75 percent of the loan forgiveness amount must have been spent on payroll costs during the 24-week loan forgiveness covered period to 60 percent for each of these requirements. If a borrower uses less than 60 percent of the loan amount for payroll costs during the forgiveness covered period, the borrower will continue to be eligible for partial loan forgiveness, subject to at least 60 percent of the loan forgiveness amount having been used for payroll costs.
- Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees for borrowers that are unable to return to the same level of business activity the business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements or guidance issued between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, related to worker or customer safety requirements related to COVID–19.
- Provide a safe harbor from reductions in loan forgiveness based on reductions in full-time equivalent employees, to provide protections for borrowers that are both unable to rehire individuals who were employees of the borrower on February 15, 2020, and unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020.
- Increase to five years the maturity of PPP loans that are approved by SBA (based on the date SBA assigns a loan number) on or after June 5, 2020.
- Extend the deferral period for borrower payments of principal, interest, and fees on PPP loans to the date that SBA remits the borrower’s loan forgiveness amount to the lender (or, if the borrower does not apply for loan forgiveness, 10 months after the end of the borrower’s loan forgiveness covered period).
- In addition, the new rules will confirm that June 30, 2020, remains the last date on which a PPP loan application can be approved.
President Trumps has signed into law a bill that will relax the laws surrounding the PPP. We will bring you more information as soon as offical guidelines are available.
The Small Business Administration is still accepting PPP loan applications, but funds may run out soon. Click here to learn more.
If you are unsure whether your business qualifies, it’s not too late to talk with one of our advisors or your lender – but don’t wait! Get in touch with your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential services by clicking here.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
- The following entities affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be eligible:
- Any small business concern that meets SBA’s size standards (either the industry based sized standard or the alternative size standard)
- Any business, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, 501(c)(19) veterans organization, or Tribal business concern (sec. 31(b)(2)(C) of the Small Business Act) with the greater of: 500 employees, or that meets the SBA industry size standard if more than 500
- Any business with a NAICS Code that begins with 72 (Accommodations and Food Services) that has more than one physical location and employs less than 500 per location
- Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed persons
- Faith-based organizations impacted by Coronavirus are eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, without restrictions based on their religious identity or activities, to the extent they meet the eligibility criteria.
- The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
- This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%.
- Review this comparison guide between the various relief efforts from the SBA.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with the Paycheck Protection Program. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Or read more information from the SBA by clicking here.
Employee Paid Leave - (Updated: 4/8/2020)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.
- Applies to private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
- All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19.
- Covered employers qualify for dollar-for-dollar reimbursement through tax credits for all qualifying wages paid under the FFCRA.
- The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.
- Each covered employer must post in a conspicuous place on its premises a notice of FFCRA requirements. You can also find more information about this notice by clicking here.
- Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who takes paid sick leave under the FFCRA and files a complaint or institutes a proceeding under or related to the FFCRA.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with the FFCRA. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Employee Retention Credit - (Updated: 4/8/2020)
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.
- The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations. There are only two exceptions: State and local governments and their instrumentalities and small businesses who take small business loans.
- Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories: 1) The employer’s business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter. 2) The employer’s gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer’s gross receipts go above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter.
- The amount of the credit is 50% of qualifying wages paid up to $10,000 in total. Wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2021, are eligible for the credit. Wages taken into account are not limited to cash payments, but also include a portion of the cost of employer provided health care.
- Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees’ wages by the amount of the credit.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with the Employee Retention Credit. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Or read more information from the IRS by clicking here.
Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Insurance - (Updated: 4/27/2020)
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has put together the following resources to assist employers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- COVID-19 Town Hall Series
- COVID-19 FAQ: Wyoming Worker’s Compensation
- COVID-19 FAQ: Wyoming Unemployment Insurance
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with human resource topics for your small business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Food-Related and Agricultural Businesses - (Updated: 5/4/2020)
NOTICE: Currently, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is accepting new applications from agriculture businesses only. Please click here to learn more.
Check back regularly as we continue to update the resources available in this section.
- Look into delivery or pickup opportunities for your customers, especially if you have a restaurant or retail business. If your dining space is shut down, consider using your wait staff to make deliveries.
- Participate in a restaurant “bond” program to get income now. Hear how one Wyoming company found success this way.
- Check out this COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide from the USDA.
- Read more about Farm Loans above in the Loans and Capital section of this webpage.
- Food Safety and the Coronavirus from the FDA
- Latest information and Q&A from the USDA
- Resources for Farmers
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with any aspect of your agricultural of food-based business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Government Contracting - (Updated: 4/14/2020)
If you looking to expand your market to federal, state, or local agencies or are already contracting with the government, the best resource in Wyoming during the COVID-19 pandemic is you local Wyoming PTAC advisor. Co-located with the Wyoming SBDC Network, these advisors are up-to-date on the latest information and are ready to assist you at no cost.
- The General Services Administration is currently seeking information related to how interested contractors could provide items like maks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant, and more.
- Find ways to provide critical protective equipment and other in-demand products to government agencies.
- The Defense Logistics Agency is currently accepting Other Transaction Authority whitepapers on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Re-Use and Decontamination; and Prototype PPE: N95 Equivalent Masks.
Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Manufacturing - (Updated: 4/8/2020)
Many manufacturers can adapt to the business landscape created by the coronavirus by evaluating their products and their markets.
- Find ways to repurpose your facility to provide critical supplies. For example, protective equipment for healthcare workers is in high demand.
- Now might be the time to consider selling products to federal, state, and local government agencies. Contact your local procurement specialist at the Wyoming Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). The PTAC is co-located with the Wyoming SBDC Network.
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with manufacturing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page. We’ll set you up with the proper assistance and get you connected with an expert at Wyoming’s Manufacturing Works.
Tourism and Hospitality - (Updated: 4/14/2020)
The tourism and hospitality industry plays a major role in Wyoming’s economy. With social distancing and other restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, this industry is being impacted uniquely. Additionally, Gov. Gordon has signed an executive order directing a 14-day self-quarantine for people coming to Wyoming.
- Join the Wyoming Office of Tourism each Monday from 9:30-10:30 am MDT for their weekly conference call.
- Travel Wyoming COVID-19 Resource Page
- Closures Cancellations, Alerts, and Restrictions in Wyoming
- CDC Travel Tips
Contact your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance with resources available for tourism and hospitality businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Get in touch with your local advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
Protect Your Business From COVID-19
Protect Yourself - (Updated: 4/8/2020)
For your business to run smoothly, you must first protect your own health.
- Work from home if possible. Forward your business phones to your cell phone and make sure you have the proper cybersecurity precautions in place if you need to access your business’ network.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol only if soap and water are not available.
- Disinfect your business regularly by following this guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Protect Your Employees - (Updated: 4/8/2020)
Employee safety should be a top priority for any business owner. Keep you employees healthy and working by following these tips.
- Allow employees to work from home if possible. Consider a temporary change in duties to retain your employees.
- Educate employees. Encourage all employees to regularly wash their hands and clean their workspace.
- Take steps so employees can avoid physical contact with each and customers (maintain a distance of at least 6 feet).
- Require sick employees (and employees who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19) to stay home until cleared for work by their physician.
- Click here to learn more about how to protect your employees from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.
Protect Your Customers - (Updated: 4/8/2020)
Avoid contact with your customers if at all possible. However, for many essential businesses, this isn’t always an option. Follow these tips below to maintain the highest level of safety for your customers. Find out the latest business affected by public health order on the Wyoming Governor’s website.
- Transition your business online.
- Reassure your customers that you are taking steps to protect their health, such as properly cleaning your business at regular intervals and requiring sick employees to stay home.
- Use phone conversations and video conferencing to meet with customers when possible.
- Offer hand sanitizer near your business’ entrance and at cash registers.
- Avoid shaking hands or having other physical contact with customers. Maintain at least 6 feet of space between all customers and employees.
General COVID-19 Tips for Your Business - (Updated: 5/11/2020)
Your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor is constantly training to stay up-to-date on all the resources and information related to the coronavirus pandemic. Get in touch with you local advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance regarding any of the topics on this page.
- Beware of scams. As aid programs for entrepreneurs are increasing, so are the amount of scammers trying to take advantage of small businesses. Also, as more and more people are working from home, it is important to make sure your website and internal networks are secure. The Wyoming SBDC Network’s cybersecurity expert can help you protect your business.
- Learn how to report scam attempts.
- COVID-19 Response Tips from the Wyoming Business Council
- Wyoming Department of Workforce Services COVID-19 Resources
- Guidance from the CDC
- Tips for Small Business from the CDC
- SBA Coronavirus page
Get in touch with your local Wyoming SBDC Network advisor by clicking here, or submitting your email and county in the forms at the top or bottom of this page.
State Health Orders
Effective Through September 30
The office of Governor Mark Gordon has issued the following official health orders related to COVID-19 resources for small businesses:
- Indoor gatherings under 50 people are permitted with no special restrictions.
- Indoor gatherings between 50-250 people are permitted with social distancing restrictions. Read more about these guidelines.
- Outdoor gatherings of no more than 50% of venue capacity are allowed, with a maximum of 1,000 people as long as social distancing and increased sanitization measures are in place.
- Restaurants, schools, and child care facilities are allowed to open with social distancing restrictions. Read more about these guidelines.
- Cosmetology, massage, and tattoo establishments are allowed to open with social distancing restrictions. Read more about these guidelines.
Click here for the latest case numbers from the Wyoming Department of Health.
State Case Data
Last Updated 9/18/20 9:05 am MDT
COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to have a big impact on small businesses in our state. However, there are plenty of available COVID-19 resources for small businesses in Wyoming.
Latest COVID-19 Statistics in Wyoming:
- Deaths: 49
- Confirmed Cases: 3,936 (3,394 recovered)
- Probable Cases: 716 (606 recovered)
Click here for the latest Wyoming Public Health Orders.