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Published May 07, 2020
A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Jake Dixon, marketing manager, Wyoming SBDC Network
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.
As new programs emerge and others adjust, it’s important to stay up to date on the support offered so that your business can utilize every available opportunity.
Several statewide resources offer assistance at no cost to Wyoming entrepreneurs. The Wyoming SBDC Network can provide mentoring on any business topic with which you may need help. Our local advisers also can help you with applications for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). We are connected to other organizations in the state and will refer you to the right person from either the Wyoming Business Council, the Department of Workforce Services or the organizations within UW’s Business Resource Network -- just to name a few.
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.
Paycheck Protection Program
Forgivable loans, through the PPP, initially launched April 3 to help businesses keep workers on their payroll. Applications for this program closed April 15 as funds ran dry. However, the program resumed April 27 after more money for it became available. 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 be replenished.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The SBA has offered EIDL for years. On March 20, they were approved to help businesses in Wyoming negatively affected by COVID-19. On April 15, the SBA announced it had shut down the application portal for these low-interest loans and their forgivable advances of up to $10,000. However, due to recent funding from Congress, EIDL loans are once again available -- but for agricultural businesses only. Additionally, the SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
All of 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 of 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 adviser for no-cost, confidential assistance at www.wyomingsbdc.org.
Also, our COVID-19 resource page for entrepreneurs is updated daily with the latest resources, news and events. You can find that page at www.wyomingsbdc.org/covid19.
The Wyoming SBDC Network offers no-cost advising and technical assistance to help Wyoming entrepreneurs think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. In 2019 alone, the Wyoming SBDC Network helped Wyoming entrepreneurs start 108 new businesses; create or save 3,402 jobs; and bring a capital impact of more than $24 million to the state. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. SBA.
To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY 82071-3922.