COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Grants

The Laramie Chamber Business Alliance (LCBA) and City of Laramie announce the availability of grants and loans to support COVID-19 recovery and relief for local businesses!

Applications and instructions can be downloaded here: https://laramiewy-my.sharepoint.com/:f:/g/personal/questions_laramie_org/Ev-73Gzvc7VOtdcQsi9UN3MBP1leQ4vTc7zxpLptuh0lAg?e=GimsJE

Only complete applications will be accepted. All other grants and loan requests will be reviewed and awarded on first come, first served basis. 

Business Council launches $50M grant relief program – Applications are open

The Wyoming Business Council is accepting applications for the Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend.

The program offers grants of up to $50,000 to independent Wyoming businesses who, as of March 31, 2020, employed 50 or fewer full-time employees.

Visit wyobizrelief.org Monday after 10 a.m. to apply. The web page includes Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend eligibility requirements, an FAQ, a grant amount calculator worksheet and a link to register to receive Business Council media releases to keep up on the latest information about this and two future programs.

The Wyoming Legislature passed a bill on May 16 that created three grant programs to distribute $325 million of Wyoming’s $1.25 billion allocation from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to Wyoming smallbusiness owners who have experienced hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The programs are:

  • The Wyoming Business Interruption Stipend – $50 million in grants of up to $50,000 to independent Wyoming businesses that employ fewer than 50 people.
  • The Coronavirus Business Relief Stipend – $225 million in grants of up to $300,000 for independent Wyoming businesses that employ fewer than 100 people. The Legislature set aside $50 million of this funding for businesses explicitly closed as a result of state orders.
  • The Coronavirus Mitigation Stipend – $50 million for reimbursement of up to $500,000 in expenses incurred for the health and safety of Wyoming employees and to comply with public health guidelines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

>>Click Here to Learn More<<

United Way of Albany County has established a fund to provide financial support to local nonprofits for their extra-ordinary and unprecedented expenses related to Covid-19. Our social services nonprofits, which make up the core of our Laramie Community, provide for many basic needs, including food, clothing, and shelter. The fund we have created, COVID-19 Response Fund, is providing micro-grants to local nonprofits with these emergency expenses.

BECOME A FUNDING PARTNER

The fund has raised a budget of over $150,000, with support from our Emergency Fund and several partners including:

  • ANB Bank
  • First Interstate Bank and the First Interstate Foundation
  • Blue FCU
  • UniWyo FCU
  • Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Laramie Plains FCU
  • Tri-State G&T
  • ConnectGen
  • Small Business Administration

If your organization is interested in becoming a funding partner, reach out to Evelyn Edson or Anastasia Brady via email or at 307-745-8643.

MAKE A DONATION

If you are interested in making a personal donation to help support our important local nonprofits, donate here. 100% of your donations will go to this important cause.

NONPROFIT PARTNERS APPLY FOR FUNDING

Nonprofits looking to apply for this funding can fill out this simple application. Please send completed applications to Evelyn Edson for review.

Criteria to Qualify:

  1. Your agency must be a 501(c)(3) organization.
  2. Your agency must be located in and serve the population of Albany County, Wyoming.

As of 4/28/20 we have distributed 48 grants to 25 local nonprofits totaling over $38,000. We have the funds to distribute and we strongly encourage you to apply for assistance.

Loans

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 the SBA’s announcement on June 8, 2020, the new rule updates provisions relating to loan maturity, deferral of loan payments, and forgiveness provisions.

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.

PPP Links:

Click here to view the new Interim Final Rules.

Click here to view the new Borrower Application.

Click here to view the new Lender Application.

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.

As a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Federal Reserve has created the Main Street Lending Program to provide a total of $600 billion in financing for small and medium-sized businesses.

While the program’s start date has yet to be announced, here’s what you need to know to check eligibility and get ready to apply: https://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/uscc_covid19_main-street-lending-program.pdf

Other Support Programs

The Wyoming Women’s Business Center COVID-19 Support Program aims to help women-owned small businesses build or enhance their online presence, launch crowdfunding campaigns, and implement accounting software at no cost.

Business-2-Business (B2B)
B2B Digital Design Services is the flagship project of the COVID-19 Support Program. It will provide funding for creative and design service businesses to work with WWBC clients on professional photography, videography, graphic design, and website development. WWBC clients will be matched with local or regional small business vendors to create all the necessary elements required to enhance their existing online presence or develop a new e-commerce website.

Marketing Outreach and Crowdfunding
With the support of one-on-one counseling, clients can utilize marketing strategy and crowdfunding best practices from industry experts to raise capital for improvement projects, product launches, and other innovations in the face of COVID-19’s impact. Clients will receive free software access and marketing support to launch campaigns that raise money for their business in coordination with The Local Crowd®, a Wyoming based online crowdfunding platform.

QuickBooks® Advising
The importance of maintaining accurate financials has intensified for small businesses as they cope with reduced income while trying to secure lines of credit, federal loans, and financial assistance. The Covid-19 Support program will provide WWBC clients with access to QuickBooks® online software for one-year to qualifying clients. WWBC will also provide free one-on-one counseling to help women-owned businesses master the software and learn bookkeeping best practices.

>>Click Here to Learn More<<<

 

For a limited time as part of COVID-19 relief, Albany County Tourism Board and Visit Laramie would like to offer a special co-op advertising opportunity to local businesses.

The goal of this program is to help our community rebound quicker and to help aid our local businesses, friends, and neighbors in the community with advertising costs after the impact on many due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want our community to know that we are here to help support you through this, and as partners, we are here to help weather this storm alongside you as we believe we are all stronger together.

For details on this program, please see below.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. All businesses within Albany County are eligible.
  2. The advertising must take place outside of Albany County.
  3. Any publication or medium is eligible – print, digital, radio, TV, etc. Each business can select the medium desired based on their business needs and their customer or consumer demographic. If you are unsure if your ad will be eligible for the program, we strongly encourage you to check with the Albany County Tourism Board prior to placing the ad.
  4. The Albany County Tourism Board logo must be present, or Albany County Tourism Board must be mentioned in some manner in the advertisement.
  5. There is a maximum total reimbursement amount of $750 per business. Funds are available on a first come first served basis.

The process:

  1. Your business will place the advertisement and provide payment to the vendor. Albany County
    Tourism Board will provide a logo if needed.
  2. When presented with proof of the completed advertising, Albany County Tourism Board will
    subsidize your costs with a reimbursement for part of the advertising costs up to the amounts
    listed below.

Reimbursement Amount Details:

  1. For advertising that costs between 0 – $499, Albany County Tourism Board will reimburse up to
    $250 in costs.
  2. For advertising that costs between $500 – $1499, Albany County Tourism Board will reimburse
    up to $500 in costs.
  3. For advertising that costs $1500 or more, Albany County Tourism Board will reimburse up to
    $750.

Questions? Please call 307-745-4195 or email director@visitlaramie.org for more information.

Download this powerful communications guide on how to tell your story to attract and retain customers. This is a collaborative effort between the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Downtown Laramie Wyoming and Visit Laramie.

>>>Click here to access the resource guide and videos<<

Covid Resource Links

Upcoming Webinars for Small Businesses

Below are local webinars for Albany County businesses to help deal with the COVID-19 crisis. If you have additional resources that are not listed, please email mross@laramie.org

COVID-19 Business Relief Program Webinars

For Businesses & Nonprofits:

The next two waves of funding under the COVID-19 Business Relief Program, the Relief Fund and the Mitigation Fund, will open to Wyoming businesses and nonprofits in the coming weeks. Businesses and organizations interested in applying for one or both of these funds should attend an upcoming informational webinar to be better prepared when applications open.

July 28th – 8am
July 28th – Noon
July 30th – 8am
July 30th – Noon

Getting the Most out of Zoom: Basics & Beyond
Wednesday July 29, 2020 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM MDT

Presented by Brittany Ashby, Vice President of Align

Most of us have spent a great deal of time on Zoom over the last few months and most of us have figured out how to mute and unmute ourselves as well as turn our camera on and off. If we are being really fancy, many of us have even added a few backgrounds here and there. This webinar will give you some tips and tricks for moving your Zoom meetings to a slightly different level. We will look at some interactive tools, talk about structuring for best outcomes, and look at different account options for getting the results that you are looking for. Come with your questions!

Content Marketing & How To Implement It
Thu, Aug 13, 2020 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM MDT

So, what is content marketing? It isn’t about your brand, your products, or your services. It’s about your audience. By providing your audience with useful and quality content, you can increase conversions, improve brand awareness, and boost revenue.

When it comes to content marketing, it can be tough to know which ones to use and which ones will make a statement. In this FREE webinar, we will cover what content marketing really is, examples of various content marketing types, and how you can begin to implement it into your marketing strategy.

Presented by Amanda Jeffers. Hosted by Jonathan Howdeshell.

Free webinars offered through Blue:
Seminars available include:

  • Basic Budgeting
  • Understanding and Building Your Credit Score
  • Basic Financial Planning for Teens and Young Adults
  • Wise Use of Credit Cards
  • Budgeting During Tough Times

Click here to register for the seminars. Several Dates and Times are offered.