The WBA has created this page to identify resources and share information to help businesses.
PLANS TO REOPEN
May 27 - Outdoor gatherings up to 250 persons to be permitted under new health orders; Wyoming's 6 largest rodeos are cancelled in 2020
Governor Mark Gordon has announced that updated public health orders effective June 1 will ease restrictions on public gatherings, allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people. The updated orders allow for outdoor events to occur with social distancing and increased sanitation measures in place. Sporting events, rodeos and other events will be permitted to have up to 250 spectators in attendance, in addition to the event participants.Indoor events and gatherings, other than religious gatherings and other exemptions listed in the order, will continue to be restricted to groups of 25 or fewer. During the governor's press conference, six of Wyoming’s large rodeos and events announced that they will not take place in 2020. This decision factored in economics, health concerns and logistics. The cancellation decision was made collectively and includes the Thermopolis Cowboy Rendezvous PRCA Rodeo in late June as well the Cody Stampede, Central Wyoming Fair & PRCA Rodeo in Casper, the Sheridan WYO Rodeo and Breakaway Roping, Laramie Jubilee Days, and Cheyenne Frontier Days, all scheduled for July.
May 13 - Restrictions ease under new orders, Governor allocates $17 million in CARES Act funding to expand COVID-19 testing and health response: Governor Mark Gordon has announced that updated public health orders effective May 15 will ease restrictions on several business categories and permit restaurants to resume indoor table service statewide. The Governor has also allocated $17 million in federal funding to expand COVID-19 testing, improve contact tracing and add to the state’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). See all the orders
Wyoming Public Health Orders/Directives
Please see below for a list of orders and declarations issued by the Wyoming Governor’s Office or Wyoming State Health Officer. See all the orders
County Specific: As Wyoming’s state public health orders are eased, some counties may have different guidelines for businesses depending on local health data. Counties may seek variances from the statewide public health orders, which are then reviewed by the county and state health officers. For a variance to be approved, businesses and places of worship may have to develop and execute social distancing and sanitizing procedures for their employees and the public to ensure they can operate safely. The Wyoming Department of Health is continuing to review county variance requests as they are received. A map with links to each of the county orders is available here: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html
Executive Order issued March 13, 2020 closing public spaces.
Statewide Public Health Order issued March 20, 2020 (updated on May 13) forbidding gatherings of 25 people or more
Statewide Public Health Orders issued March 24, 2020 (updated on May 13) Restaurants, Schools, Child Care Facilities and Others and Cosmetology, Tattoo, Massage and Others
Governor Gordon unveils plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions
Governor Mark Gordon has unveiled a plan to transition Wyoming to a new phase of COVID-19 response.
COVID-19 Metrics “dashboard” that includes six health metrics that will be utilized for making decisions about easing restrictions
President Trump issues Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
President Trump unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. Read document
Business Council creating business relief grant programs
The Wyoming Business Council staff is spearheading the creation of the Wyoming business relief programs and working to ensure a smooth and simple process for Wyoming's small-business owners. The Business Council expects to open applications for businesses at the beginning of June.
Businesses of fewer than 50 employees can begin applying for the grants in early June. Information found in your W9 form may be useful in the application process.
Sign up for WBC press releases/updates
Read the FAQ about the programs
Farmers and Ranchers in Wyoming Can Now Apply for Financial Assistance through USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program provides direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19. USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Learn more
Wyoming Legislature - Special Session Update
The last Special Session in Wyoming was held in 2004. The 65th Legislature made history on May 15 by holding the first Virtual Special Session.
Watch recorded video of the special session on May 15 and May 16, including joint conference committees
Legislation (Click to see all legislation)
Governor Mark Gordon has signed three pieces of legislation passed by the Wyoming Legislature that provide a framework for spending $1.25 billion in federal funding awarded to the State through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. (Read his letter on Considerations in signing SEA1 and SEA2.pdf)The Governor exercised his line-item veto authority to address two elements of House Bill 1004.(Read the letter)
HB1004/ HEA No. 0001 COVID-19 business relief programs. provides funding to establish three business-relief programs that will provide assistance to Wyoming companies impacted by COVID-19 and health orders. It allocates $50 million for the “Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend Program" to help businesses with 50 or fewer employees with grants of up to $50,000 dollars; $225 million for the “Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend Program” to assist businesses with up to 100 employees with stipends of up to $300,000; and $50 million for the “Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend Program” that will help Wyoming businesses of any size pay for COVID-19 related expenses up to $500,000.
SF1001 SEA No. 0001 Emergency appropriation-COVID-19 funds-2. gives the Governor further flexibility to spend the $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding through three allotments. It sets out $450 million immediately, an additional $400 million starting on July 15 and the remaining balance of $400 million beginning Sept. 15.
SF1002 SEA No. 0002 Enrolled Act Emergency government action-Covid-19-2. makes changes to the State’s unemployment insurance program and workers compensation program. It also creates an eviction prevention program that will be administered by the Wyoming Community Development Authority.
Treasury updated the FAQs for local government on the use of monies from the Coronavirus Relief Fund:
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP sent us the following FAQ. The following answers to frequently asked questions supplement Treasury’s Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments, dated April 22, 2020. Amounts paid from the Fund are subject to the restrictions outlined in the Guidance and set forth in section 601(d) of the Social Security Act, as added by section 5001 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Download the document
Small Business Administration - Funding Options
In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
Paycheck Protection Program - (Open for applications)
This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program. The SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30am EDT. 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.
EIDL Loan Advance - (Reopened on May 4 - At this time, only agricultural business applications will be accepted due to limitations in funding availability and the unprecedented submission of applications already received.)
Due to a lapse in appropriations, SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.
Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
As part of SBA coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans.
Learn more about SBA eligibility of Agricultural Related Businesses
SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.
Governor announces availability of Layoff Aversion Grants to Wyoming businesses
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) and the Wyoming Workforce Development Council (WWDC) are offering $300,000 in grants to support businesses in order to avert or shorten layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Wyoming.
DWS and its 20 Workforce Centers will assist businesses with grant applications to support these important layoff aversion strategies for Wyoming’s economy. The application can be found here.
More information about options available to businesses can be found here.
STATE OF WYOMING WEBPAGE
Governor Mark Gordon announced the launch of a state government webpage that will provide resources and information on the COVID-19 outbreak. The page includes links to resources and information from the Wyoming Department of Health, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, the Wyoming Department of Education, the University of Wyoming and the state’s community colleges. It also offers information to assist impacted businesses and workers, as well as a link to updates from the CDC. The webpage may be viewed at covid19.wyo.gov.
Holland & Hart has a Re-Opening Checklist for Employers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Re-opening in a safe, responsible and bottom-line friendly manner is an attainable goal. Though there is no simple solution to a successful workplace re-opening, the following checklist of strategies and return-to-work best practices will help prepare your business as it re-opens amid a pandemic world. Download the checklist
WYOMING LEGISLATURE: COVID-19 STATE AND FEDERAL RESOURCES: EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND SMALL BUSINESSES
The Wyoming Legislature has prepared state and federal resource guide for COVID-19. Download the guide
Wyoming Secretary of State - Guidance on Temporary Remote Online Notarization
Due to public health concerns regarding COVID-19 and the declared state of emergency currently in effect, the Secretary of State's Office has issued guidance on the immediate availability of remote online notarization for Wyoming notaries and businesses.
IRS has a new section addressing questions and answers on tax filing and payment deadlines
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available.
Posted answers to frequently asked questions on the filing and payment tax relief provided in response to the ongoing #COVID19 emergency. These questions and answers will be updated periodically. See www.irs.gov/coronavirus
Has a live page with tips for taxpayers and tax pros – this includes basics for taxpayers and highlights of operational status in key parts of the agency. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-operations-during-covid-19-mission-critical-functions-continue
IR-2020-58, Tax Day now July 15: Treasury, IRS extend filing deadline and federal tax payments regardless of amount
WBA member Holland and Hart offers considerations for furloughs, layoffs and reductions in force
The COVID-19 pandemic has created huge challenges for employers. Faced with declining business activity and revenues, many employers will be forced to reduce workforce costs through furloughs, layoffs or reductions in force. While few will question the need for reductions in the current environment, adverse employment decisions always carry risk. This memo is intended to guide Wyoming employers through various legal and practical issues to consider while preparing for staffing reductions. Download Guidance Memo
How to help support your local initiatives with COVID-19
This flyer offers links for financial donations, volunteer opportunities, donations of medical commercial equipment (ventilators), and donations of medical supplies (gloves, N-95s,etc). - (download the document)
COVID-19 is an unprecedented global crisis, challenging governments, economies, health systems, businesses, and individuals as we all grapple with the disruption and uncertainty of this rapidly evolving pandemic. Holland & Hart’s multidisciplinary Task Force developed this Resource Site to offer practical guidelines and proactive solutions to help you protect your business and your workforce.
Hathaway & Kunz create Small Business Pro Bono Initiative
WBA member Hathaway & Kunz has created the Small Business Pro Bono Initiative to provide legal advice to qualifying Wyoming businesses struggling with legal questions that have arisen due to this difficult time—without charge. Learn more athttp://ow.ly/hmRX50zjavf
ADDITIONAL BUSINESS RESOURCES
Covid-19 Response Tips for Small Businesses by the Wyoming Business Council: There are steps Wyoming small business owners can take to protect themselves, their employees, their communities and their businesses as the situation develops.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
WBA members offer resources to parents
Enbridge partners with The Science Zone: Enbridge is helping to support our community investment partners while also serving an important educational need. With families and children quarantined, parents and teachers are looking for content. The Science Zone asked Enbridge to be a part of this project to help kids have access to STEM learning. They are producing daily content titled “Daily Dose of Science."
WBA Member WY Lit: Tips for homeschooling your struggling reader
It can be overwhelming to know where to begin to help a struggling reader. Heather Fleming and Kari Roden have been there and want to help. Read WY Lit Resources for Readers