Downtown Sheridan stock winter

Downtown Sheridan

SHERIDAN — Gov. Mark Gordon has allocated $114 million in additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds to help businesses and nonprofits within the state.

The announcement came Monday, the same day the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee heard updates on where CARES Act funding has been utilized in the state.

The two new funds — the Agriculture Fund and the Endurance Fund — will open Nov. 2 and close Nov. 18.

“The effects of COVID-19 haven’t disappeared from our communities and businesses,” Gordon said in a press release. “There are impacts still being felt by business owners, nonprofit organizations and agriculture producers. Right from the start we worked with the Legislature to pace our programs so that they would reach each sector as the needs became clear. The Business Council will distribute these federal funds where they’re needed to help continue our economic recovery.”

The Agriculture Fund, which will have $90 million, will aid farmers and ranchers who experienced business interruptions due to the pandemic. Awards will be available up to $250,000.

The Endurance Fund will have at least $24 million set aside to help businesses and nonprofits. The funding may increase as unused CARES dollars from other programs are diverted. Awards up to $250,000 will also be available.

Eligible entities can apply one time per fund and recipients of previous Business Relief Program awards may apply for the two new funds if they have eligible losses or expenses since their previous application dates.

The Wyoming Business Council has scheduled webinars to discuss the new programs for Oct. 28-30 and Nov. 2. Those interested in applying for the funds are encouraged to register for one of the information sessions.

According to a presentation to the JAC Monday, plans are in place for the entire $1.25 billion allocated to Wyoming from the federal government through the CARES Act.

Those funds have been allocated to business relief, education, broadband and communications infrastructure, testing and contact tracing, unemployment and workers’ compensation, local governments, health care systems, eviction prevention and support, state COVID response and the judicial and legislative branches.

If funds are returned to the state by entities or the U.S. Congress does not grant an extension to use the funds, the state plans to allocated additional funds to relief programs, unemployment insurance rate stabilization, additional workers compensation and health care system and local and state governments for costs related to severe weather.

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