Jake Dixon, Marketing Manager
Wyoming Small Business Development Center 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 are adjusted, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the support offered so your business can utilize every available opportunity.
Several statewide resources offer assistance at no cost to Wyoming entrepreneurs. The Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network can provide mentoring on any business topic you may need help with. Our local advisors can also 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 the University of Wyoming’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 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were initially launched on April 3 to help businesses keep workers on their payroll. Applications for this program were closed on April 15 as funds ran dry, but more money was added to the program and it resumed on April 27. 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
Economic Disaster Injury Loans have been offered by the SBA 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 the U.S. Congress, EIDL loans are once again available — but for agricultural businesses only. Additionally, the SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15 and will be processing these applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
All 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 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 advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance at 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 WyomingSBDC.org/covid19.
About the Wyoming SBDC Network: 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 the University of Wyoming with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.