The Wyoming Business Council closed the final COVID-19 Business Relief Program funds – Agriculture and Endurance – at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Currently, the WBC is in the process of finishing all application reviews and beginning program reporting.
The WBC will also be conducting audits with guidance from an independent auditing firm, McGee Hearne & Paiz, LLP (MHP). A sampling of COVID-19 Business Relief Program recipients will be audited in the coming weeks. Entities chosen for the audit pool will receive an email with instructions on next steps. MHP will conduct the audits, which will be handled at the business level, not application or program levels. Fund recipients are encouraged to collect documentation used to calculate their fund amounts in the event they are audited.
To help fund recipients prepare for these audits, the Business Council created a video tutorial to walk through the process, as well as information about what types of documentation are needed. This video plus helpful FAQs are available at wyobizrelief.org/audit-info.
Agriculture Fund: The Business Council has begun issuing payments to Wyoming-based farmers and ranchers who applied for the Agriculture Fund, which had $90 million available. A total of 559 Wyoming producers applied for $39.6 million in assistance and $20.2 million has been paid out so far.
Endurance Fund: The Endurance Fund opened with $24 million allocated in unspent dollars from previous COVID-19 Business Relief Program funds (Interruption, Relief, and Mitigation). At program close, 2,830 entities submitted applications, totaling $243.7 million. Payments totalling $18 million have already gone out.
Waitlists and What’s Next: The high demand for the Endurance Fund highlights the continued hardship businesses and nonprofits are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 Business Relief Program funding. The Business Council is reviewing applications in the order they were received within this prioritization first, as well as all applications, so they can be prepared if additional funding becomes available. At this point it is uncertain if or how much additional funds may become available, according to the WBC. Applicants can access their applications at wyobizrelief.org to check their status and will receive email notifications as their status changes.