In order to equitably handle the recent high demand for COVID-19 Business Relief Program dollars, the Wyoming Business Council will prioritize the review and approval of Endurance Fund applications.
The Endurance Fund opened on November 2nd with at least $24 million for businesses and select nonprofits to cover COVID-19 related losses and expenses. The new fund amount consists of unspent dollars from the Wyoming Legislature’s COVID-19 Business Relief Program. To date, more than 1,600 entities have submitted applications, totaling more than $161 million.
“We will continue to accept applications for the Endurance Fund and place applicants on a waiting list,” Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said. “We want to encourage businesses in need to apply so that we can understand the true need and be prepared if other monies become available. With the deadline for CARES Act funding approaching, we want to continue to meet the needs of as many businesses and nonprofits as possible.”
To ensure financial help reaches entities with the fewest resources and the greatest need, the Business Council has prioritized Endurance Fund applicants who have not received previous COVID-19 Business Relief Program funding.
The Business Council will review applications in the order they were received within this prioritization and will accept Endurance Fund applications until Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. The Business Council encourages entities to apply sooner rather than later, emphasizing applications are not guaranteed funding at this time and applicants will be placed on waitlists.
Under the Endurance Fund, awards up to $250,000 are available for affected Wyoming businesses with at least one full-time employee. Eligible nonprofits in Wyoming include 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(12) and 501(c)(19) with no more than 50 percent of time spent on lobbying. There is no minimum employee requirement for nonprofits in this fund, making volunteer-run organizations eligible.
Applications also are now open for the Agriculture Fund, which has $90 million available to help Wyoming farmers and ranchers offset losses and specific expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Awards up to $250,000 are available in this fund, which also closes on Nov. 18 at 8 p.m.
Details, updates, and application links are available at wyobizrelief.org.
ABOUT THE COVID-19 BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAM
In May 2020, the Wyoming Legislature created three programs to distribute $325 million in federal CARES Act funding to Wyoming businesses and nonprofits that have experienced hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. The Wyoming Business Council is distributing these dollars through the COVID-19 Business Relief Program, which now consists of five funds: the Interruption, Relief and Mitigation Funds, which are all closed; and the new Agriculture and Endurance Funds, which opened Nov. 2 and close Nov. 18.
Business and Nonprofit Assistance: Call the BRP hotline Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1-877-257-7844