Relief Fund Established to Assist Sheridan Area Employees

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Foundation has set up a Sheridan Area Employee Relief Fund (SAERF) to help those who work in Sheridan County suffering loss from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dixie Johnson, CEO of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, said, “100% of donations will be used to provide emergency cash to people who have experienced hardship.”

The program’s purpose is to provide gap funding for households to purchase necessities like food, gas, rent, utilities and other expenses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Initial donations to the fund have been granted from local foundations, businesses and individuals. Additional donations are requested to provide funds to as many families as possible.

“Everyone who donates to this fund will immediately be helping our friends and neighbors in Sheridan County,” Johnson added. “No donation is too small, and all are tax deductible.”

Beginning the week of April 6, Sheridan area employees may apply for a grant at www.sheridanwyomingchamber.org.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old and be recently employed by a business in Sheridan County. To make the funds last as long as possible, only one person per household is asked to apply.

Approved applicants are eligible for $250 and may apply every 30 days.

“We are working to increase awareness and financial support to grow the fund. For now, it doesn’t have an unlimited budget,” Johnson said.

A committee will award grants based on the following criteria:
• Must be a resident of Sheridan County
• Must have been or are currently employed by a Sheridan County business
• Must have experienced some sort of hardship due to COVID-19
• Special consideration will be given to employees with children under the age of 18 living at home

Donations can be made via PayPal at www.sheridanwyomingchamber.org or checks made payable to the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, ATTN: SAERF may be mailed to P.O. Box 707, Sheridan, WY, 82801.


COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES & UPDATES

This page will be continually updated with resources for our business community. Scroll down for daily updates.

Click here for more information.

THE CHAMBER OFFICE IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO PUBLIC VISITORS, BUT STAFF IS STILL WORKING AND AVAILABLE. CALL US AT 672-2485.
The Chamber Office is currently closed to visitors, but our staff is still working and available! A staff member is in the office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Several staff are working remotely. We can be reached at 672-2485. Staff members will receive email notification of any voicemails left during or outside of business hours and will return your call as soon as possible.

April 3, 2020

GOVERNOR, STATE HEALTH OFFICER EXTEND STATEWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS THROUGH APRIL 30
Governor also Directs 14-Day Quarantine for Travelers Arriving in Wyoming from another State or Country

Governor Mark Gordon and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist have extended the three existing statewide health orders through April 30 to slow community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect lives.

The Governor continues to emphatically state that people need to stay home whenever possible to prevent or slow the spread of the virus. These orders are meant to enforce that direction through April. Specifically, the current orders closing public places including schools, prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more in a single room or confined space (including outdoors) and closing bars, restaurants, coffee shops and some personal services businesses will continue through April 30. Food establishments can continue to provide delivery services, but carry-out service is now required to take place curbside.

“The decision to extend these orders was made to save lives and keep people at home,” Governor Gordon said. “We are seeing community transmission of COVID-19 occur around the state and we will continue to see more confirmed cases in the weeks to come. This action will help lower the rate of transmission and protect both our healthcare system and the healthcare workers we all rely on.”

The Governor has also issued a directive requiring any individual coming to Wyoming from another state or country for a non-work-related purpose to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. For visits fewer than 14 days, that individual must self-quarantine for the duration of the visit. The directive is intended to discourage out-of-state visitation during the pandemic and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“We know that travel from another state or country is a source of COVID-19 infections in Wyoming,” Governor Gordon said. “Visitors from neighboring states have strained the resources of many Wyoming communities so we are asking them to do the right thing to protect the health of our citizens and the resources of our rural healthcare facilities.”

Dr. Harrist noted Wyoming continues to see community spread of COVID-19 and social distancing measures remain the most effective means to slow the spread of the virus.

“We need everyone to stay home as much as possible,” Harrist said. “Anyone can spread this disease, even if they don’t yet realize they are ill.”
The updated orders and the Governor’s directive can be found on the Governor’s website.

Governor Gordon and Dr. Harrist will provide an update on the orders and the state’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic at a 3 pm press conference today. The press conference may be viewed live on Wyoming PBS Facebook page, YouTube channel and the Wyoming PBS television station.

CO+INC. NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS TOWN HALL SERIES EVENT
TODAY AT 10 A.M. MST

The federal government has acted, and $350 billion in loans are now available to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Businesses now are challenged to understand the lending process, and then act to take advantage of this emergency aid.

This Friday, April 3 at noon ET, Inc. and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will team up once again for a virtual National Small Business Town Hall to help small businesses navigate the process of accessing the new loans available to them. Inc. Editor-At-Large Kimberly Weisul will moderate a fireside chat with the U.S. Chamber’s Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley to discuss the latest guidance from the federal government on the CARES Act, as well as the path to recovery for the economy as a whole.

They’ll be joined by a panel of business experts to answer your questions on how businesses can tap into these new resources, share different ways to incorporate these loans into a broader business plan, and offer counsel on how and when entrepreneurs can begin to think about recovery.

Click here to register.

April 2, 2020

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM OPENS TOMORROW
BUSINESSES URGED TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

Starting tomorrow, April 3, the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

Because there is a cap on the amount of money available for these loans, those interested in applying are urged to submit their applications as soon as possible so as not to miss out on the funds. It is recommended to consult with your lending institution, accountant and/or attorney for guidance.

Click here for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program Sample Application.

When can I apply?
• Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses, sole proprietorships and non-profit organizations can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
• Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
• Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.

The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:
• The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and
• Employee and compensation levels are maintained.

Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.

Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.

For more information, the U.S. Chamber has updated its Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist.

WYOMING BUSINESS COUNCIL TO HOST WEBINAR TOMORROW FOR WYOMING BUSINESSES
The Wyoming Business Council will host a webinar for Wyoming businesses tomorrow, April 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This forum will focus on responding to COVID-19 issues by providing Wyoming private businesses with information, the opportunity to ask questions, make comments and suggestions and share any best practices or success stories. Information from the businesses will help inform Governor Gordon’s Business and Financial Task Force led by Auditor Kristi Racines.

The format will be:
• What we know about the CARES Act at this point.
• Hear from private businesses.

Register in advance for the Zoom webinar at:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_X-YfRJTASuOyvOMcCC0e0Q

For more information, contact Ron Gullberg at ron.gullberg@wyo.gov or 307-286-9519.

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March 31, 2020

CARES ACT AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law recently, and this legislation provides emergency relief for American workers and businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act has approved $350 billion in emergency loans for small businesses to help them keep workers employed. In fact, if small businesses maintain or later restore their payrolls, they may not have to repay some—or possibly any—of the loan. The U.S. Chamber’s Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist is available to help answer common questions and navigate the process.

WEBINAR: COVID-19 OVERVIEW WITH CONGRESSWOMAN LIZ CHENEY
Click here
for a recording of the call with Congresswoman Cheney.

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March 27, 2020

GOVERNOR, STATE HEALTH OFFICER EXTEND STATEWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERS THROUGH APRIL 17
Governor Mark Gordon and State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist have extended the three existing statewide health orders through April 17 to slow community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protect lives.

Current orders closing public places including schools, prohibiting gatherings of 10 people or more in a single room or confined space (including outdoors) and closing bars, restaurants, coffee shops and some personal services businesses will continue through April 17. Food establishments can continue to provide take out and delivery services.

Additional COVID-19 resources are available at the state of Wyoming’s COVID-19 website.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RELEASES NEW GUIDANCE REGARDING THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA)
Courtesy the Employers Council

FFCRA FLOW CHART
Courtesy HUB International
HUB International has created a flow chart to determine if and how the FFCRA applies to your business. Click here to view.

UPDATE ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
Anyone who has lost work through no fault of their own can file for Unemployment Insurance benefits online at wyui.wyo.gov. The online application is the quickest, easiest way to file. Please use the online portal if you have internet access. Additionally, general unemployment questions can be directed by phone to 307-473-3789. With the increase in unemployment claims, the telephone lines are at their maximum capacity, and wait times are extremely long.

In addition, our Unemployment Insurance department has set up a phone number for Employers to call with any questions they may have about Unemployment. That number is 307-235-3200. Again, this is a line for employer’s questions, not for employees or for filing for benefits.

Anyone needing assistance can call Sheridan Workforce Center at 307-672-9775. For a list of frequently asked questions and their answers, please click here.

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March 25, 2020

GOVERNOR GORDON TO HOST PRESS CONFERENCE AT 1 P.M.
The number of cases of COVID-19 in WY continue to increase. Governor Gordon will host a press conference at 1 pm today to talk more about the measures the state is taking to #slowthespread and assist Wyomingites through this crisis. He will be joined by Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, Department of Workforce Services Director Robin Cooley, Department of Health Director Mike Ceballos and First Lady Jennie Gordon. The press conference will be streamed live on the Wyoming PBS Facebook page and YouTube channel.

STATEWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER ISSUED MARCH 24 CLOSING NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONAL SERVICES

SECRETARY OF STATE ISSUES GUIDANCE ON TEMPORARY ONLINE NOTARY SERVICES
Due to public health concerns regarding COVID-19 and the declared state of emergency, the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office is offering guidance regarding temporary remote online notarization. Remote online notarization is not a requirement, but is now an option open to Wyoming notaries. This guidance is in effect immediately. The Secretary of State’s Office will re-evaluate this guidance on or before July 1, 2020, or when the Governor lifts the present state of emergency. For more information, visit: http://soswy.state.wy.us/Services/NotariesOverview.aspx.
Or contact Wyoming’s Notary Officer at the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Compliance Division: (307) 777-7370, notaries@wyo.gov.

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March 24, 2020

FEDERAL AGENCIES ANNOUNCE TWO PAYROLL TAX CREDITS
The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020. Learn more here.

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU WARNS OF SCAMS RELATED TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC
With the continuing spread of the COVID-19 in Northern Colorado and Wyoming, most people in the area are now in some version of isolation, whether that be true isolation due to having the disease, quarantine due to contact with someone that has the disease, or practicing social distancing by remaining at home and avoiding all unnecessary errands and travel.

This creates one of the best environments for something else to spread: scams and frauds. People have additional time on their hands, fewer places to go, and may have health or financial concerns. While any big news story can give an opportunity to scammers, one with this much nationwide impact is especially useful to both criminals and unscrupulous businesses.

For information on scams and frauds related to COVID-19 as well as other tips for consumers and businesses, visit BBB.org/COVID-19. If you encounter a scam, BBB advises you to report it to bbb.org/scamtracker.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN LEATHER TRADE SHOW CANCELED

March 23, 2020

CITY OF SHERIDAN CITIZEN ATTENDANCE AT PUBLIC MEETINGS
Due to the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and recent rules issued at the State and Federal levels, citizens are encouraged not to gather in groups of ten or more. This has caused the City to temporarily reevaluate procedures regarding citizen attendance at meetings.  At this time, the City of Sheridan is requesting that members of the public not attend City Council, Planning Commission, or Board of Adjustment meetings in person. The City would like to provide additional opportunities for citizen participation at the aforementioned meetings. 

SHERIDAN COUNTY COMMISSION MEETINGS
Sheridan County in accordance to the recommendations of the Center for Disease control, the decisions issued by the State of Wyoming and at the Federal level, we are encouraging the public not to gather in groups of ten or more. Currently, Sheridan County is asking the members of the public not attend Sheridan County Commissioner’s Regular meetings.

During this time the Sheridan County Commissioners will continue to meet for their regularly scheduled bi-monthly meetings. Agenda’s for upcoming meetings can be found on the Sheridan County website at https://www.sheridancounty.com/?submit=Search&s=agenda

To make a comment on an agenda item please email the Commission at bocc@sheridancounty.com with your comments. Comments can be read during the meeting making them part of the public record if you request.

EMERGENCY E-COMMERCE HOW-TO WEBINAR
Today at 12 p.m. This webinar will walk through using Paypal’s free tools to sell on your website and social media.

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March 21, 2020

WYOMING BUSINESSES CAN NOW APPLY FOR SBA DISASTER LOANS
Update: Sheridan County is now posted: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/DeclarationDetails?declNumber=6063606&direct=false

Please note: Although the Governor’s office has received notification that all Wyoming counties are now eligible, Wyoming does need to be posted to the SBA’s list of approved states on their website before businesses can apply.

The state of Wyoming has received approval for its small businesses to apply for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans for COVID-19.

Click here to apply online. The SBA encourages online applications to expedite the process. To determine if you are considered a small business by the SBA, click here.

To view the application and required documents before applying online, click here.

SBA Disaster Loans provide up to $2 million for working capital needs. Interest rates for for-profit businesses and private non-profits is 3.75% and for non-profit organizations, 2.75%. Terms go up to 30 years with an automatic one-year deferment of the first payment. Interest begins accruing at fund dispersal.

Susan Jerke, Regional Director for the Small Business Development Center, is available to assist businesses with questions about applying for SBA Disaster Loans. She can be reached at (307) 682-5232 or via email at sjerke@uwyo.edu.

The Chamber is here to help connect you with resources. Scroll below for additional COVID-19 Resources and Updates or click here to email us your questions. _____________________________________________________________________________

March 20, 2020

PRESS CONFERENCE REGARDING STATEWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER
A press conference will be held at 11:00 a.m. today with Sheridan County Sheriff Allen Thompson, Sheridan Police Chief Richard Adriaens, and Sheridan County Attorney Dianna Bennett to provide further details to the community regarding the order. The Sheridan Press will Facebook Live the press conference.

STATEWIDE PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER CLOSING BARS, RESTAURANTS, THEATERS, GYMNASIUMS, CHILDCARE FACILITIES, K-12 SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES, AND TRADE SCHOOLS STATEWIDE
The complete Statewide Order issued by the Governor on March 19.

March 19, 2020

FROM GOVERNOR MARK GORDON

Note: Governor Gordon and First Lady of Wyoming will host a Facebook Live tonight at 6:30 p.m. regarding the COVID-19 situation. Find it here.

In cooperation with our State Health Officer, I am ordering the closure of public places for a two-week period to help slow the community spread of COVID-19 in Wyoming. These are unprecedented times and it is critical that there is uniformity across the state in how social distancing measures are implemented.


Wyomingites, like all Americans, must commit to reducing the strain on our healthcare system. These are hard measures and they will be difficult for employees and businesses alike, but they are warranted. It is a critical step for protecting public health and the health of our most vulnerable residents.

I urge all of our residents to take social distancing recommendations seriously, to reduce trips to public spaces and use this opportunity to assist those in your community who are most in need. Together, we will be stronger and healthier.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Congresswoman Liz Cheney is posting updates to federal legislation being considered and passed in response to COVID-19.

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March 18, 2020

STATE OF WYOMING COVID-19 INFORMATION
Governor Mark Gordon announced the launch of a state government webpage that will provide resources and information on the COVID-19 outbreak. The page includes links to resources and information from the Wyoming Department of Health, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, the Wyoming Department of Education, the University of Wyoming and the state’s community colleges. It also offers information to assist impacted businesses and workers, as well as a link to updates from the CDC.

SHERIDAN WORKFORCE CENTER – FOR UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

Here is the information you will need to get the ball rolling with Unemployment in Wyoming.

NOTE: For your safety, please access websites and phone #s listed below from home, if possible.

FIRST STEP…
Click HERE to start filing with the Wyoming Unemployment Insurance (WYUI) office to determine if you are eligible.

“WYUI – also explains how to move forward if you are already registered with an account. https://wyui.wyo.gov/benefits/home.do

UI Guide to filing an unemployment claim: Click the video above.

Note you will be asked for:

  • Social Security Number
  • Work Address
  • Wage Verification for the last 18 months (start / end dates)
    You can also call the WYUI office: 307-473-3789 – anticipate “hold time” to be an hour or more.
    Here is the Wyoming Unemployment Insurance (WYUI) website for general information.

We understand that these are stressful times; we are here to help you with this process.

Our office in Sheridan is here to help you navigate finding work and submitting claims once you are enrolled.

Please call us at any time with questions. Sheridan Workforce Center: 307-672-9775. Click here to view the Sheridan Workforce Center Facebook page.

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March 17, 2020

U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) DISASTER ASSISTANCE
The Wyoming Business Council, Small Business Development Center and Wyoming’s SBA office are working to qualify the state for SBA Disaster Assistance Loans due to COVID-19. While businesses can’t apply until Wyoming is approved, there are some steps you can take now to prepare:

  1. Set up your account at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Account/Login
    (by registering your account, you will be notified when Wyoming is approved)
  2. Review the paper disaster loan application to prepare necessary information and documentation: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms

SBA Disaster Loans provide up to $2 million for working capital needs. Interest rates for for-profit businesses and private non-profits is 3.75% and for non-profit organizations, 2.75%. Terms go up to 30 years with an automatic one-year deferment of the first payment. Interest begins accruing at fund dispersal.

Click here for a direct link to the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Loan page: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
Click here for updates to COVID-19 specific disaster loans: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19

WYOMING SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SBDC) NETWORK
The Wyoming SBDC Network, as part of its emergency preparedness strategies for businesses, is ready to strategize with entrepreneurs statewide to develop individualized plans to keep your business running as smoothly as possible.

U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE COVID-19 TOOLKIT
The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.

MANUFACTURING WORKS
Wyoming Manufacturing-Works can provide manufacturers with technical assistance, including supply chain issues. Find them at manufacturing-works.com.

U.S. CHAMBER CALLS FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION

Similar to any major natural disaster, the coronavirus will have a significant impact on workers, businesses, and the economy. No family should face financial ruin because of a loss of income and no business should go bankrupt because of a temporary loss in revenue as a result of the coronavirus.

To that end, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling on Congress to pass a coronavirus response package that provides immediate relief to Americans workers and their families by extending unemployment insurance benefits and providing two weeks of paid sick leave.

Additionally, the Chamber is calling on President Trump and congressional leadership to swiftly enact the following three policy proposals:

  1. Legislation canceling payment of all payroll taxes paid by employers for the months of March, April, and May
  2. Legislation expanding and streamlining loan programs for small businesses
  3. Legislation enabling the creation of credit facilities to provide loans and loan guarantees to employers with more than 500 employees

In addition to these three steps, the U.S. Chamber calls for a series of measures to help businesses weather supply chain disruptions, support business operations, assist employees, and protect small and midsize businesses. You can view the full list of recommendations here.

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)
The most recent news about COVID-19 and the CDC’s recommendations.

SHERIDAN COUNTY CORONAVIRUS PREPAREDNESS
Twice daily updates from Sheridan County’s COVID-19 response.

WYOMING DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
The Wyoming Department of Health is closely monitoring the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak situation and sharing recommendations.

CYBERWYOMING WARNS OF LARGE NUMBER OF CORONAVIRUS SCAMS

Laura Baker of CyberWyoming advises the public to be wary of the large number of Coronavirus cybersecurity scams. She has compiled all of the scams that CyberWyoming has become aware of here: https://www.cyberwyoming.org/watch-out-for-coronavirus-cybersecurity-scams/.

If you see a scam, please be sure to report it to phishing@cyberwyoming.org. For questions or more information, contact Laura at (307) 314-2188.

CENSUS BUREAU CONTINUING TO CONDUCT THE 2020 CENSUS

The Census Bureau is working with national, state and local health authorities as they continue to conduct the 2020 Census. The bureau is focused on two key principles:

  1. Protecting the health and safety of staff and the public, and
  2. Fulfilling its constitutional duty to deliver the 2020 Census counts on schedule.

Individuals may respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone or by mail. Read the full Census Bureau Statement here.

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March 16, 2020

A Message from the Chamber CEO

Dear Member,

It has been a difficult couple of days, with the world reacting with uncertainty to the Coronavirus and market news. The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce has been closely monitoring the outbreak and its impact on our members and communities. Our commitment lies with serving you and our region in any capacity we can during this unprecedented time.

I wanted to provide you with an update on how we are responding. This is our plan as of now, but clearly things could change as new information arises.

Chamber Events: It is important that our members remain safe and secure from any potential exposure to the Coronavirus- therefore the Chamber has postponed all of our events for the rest of March and most of April. We will work to reschedule as many as possible. Committee meetings will be canceled or conducted via conference call. We will be closely monitoring the situation and take any necessary precautions regarding future events and meetings as needed. We will communicate changes and updates via email and our website.

Chamber Operations: The Chamber Office is maintaining regular office hours for now, with special protocols in place. We want to make sure that we can continue to be a resource to you, so we have also taken the necessary steps so that our team can work remotely, if they need to.

Coronavirus Information & Resources: We will be sending a special Chamber Online tomorrow with  resources to help educate employers and employees on how to prepare for and address the impacts of the Coronavirus. It will include information from the CDC, State and the US Chamber. Tomorrow, I will take part in a conference call with the Small Business Administration, and we will share those updates with you. We are also developing a webpage with these resources and will update as new guidance and information becomes available.  We encourage you to continue to monitor the outbreak and implement strategies to help protect your customers and employees, with the least possible impact to your operations.

Lending and Assistance: The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. We are working to gather information regarding these loans from our state legislature.

Buy Local Safely Promotion: The Chamber will produce a special edition of the Member 2 Member newsletter this Thursday promoting what our local businesses are doing to allow the community to continue supporting them safely during this time. If your business has implemented new policies, strategies, services or products to serve the needs of the community as we practice social distancing, please contact Jodi Hartley, Marketing & Communications Director, at jhartley@sheridanwyomingchamber.org.

In closing, we recognize that you may be feeling the impact of this crisis in an immediate and profound way. We are committed to helping you get through this. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can help. I can be reached at (307) 672-2485 or (307) 751-2485.

Dixie S. Johnson, CEO

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DOWNTOWN SHERIDAN ASSOCIATION SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESS BINGO
The Downtown Sheridan Association is sponsoring a “Support Local Bingo” game to encourage the community to continue supporting local businesses. DSA will hold four drawings with one winner per drawing. The first drawing is tomorrow. DSA will mail a gift card to each winner.

How to play:

  1. Save the image on your phone or print it out.
  2. Mark off each square once completed
  3. Once you get a BINGO (5 squares marked off – vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) SHARE the card on Facebook or Instagram
  4. TAG @downtownsheridanwy in the BINGO post in order to be entered

CANCELLATIONS AND CLOSURES

OPEN RESTAURANTS: CARRY OUT & DELIVERY
Sheridan Media’s list of restaurant services.

LIST OF BUSINESS UPDATES, HOURS, OPERATIONS
Click here for The Sheridan Press list of updates from local businesses and more.

LIST OF RESTAURANTS & FOOD VENDORS OFFERING CURBSIDE + DRIVE THRU OPTIONS
Contact STT if you’re NOT currently offering curbside + drive thru service, and they will update accordingly: https://www.sheridanwyoming.org/contact/


Chamber Announces 2019 Awards of Excellence Recipients

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2019 Awards of Excellence, as selected by the members of the Chamber, during the Chamber Lunch Feb. 12. Pictured are (left to right) Susan Holmes and Brad Bauer of Sheridan Community Land Trust, Key Service Award recipient; Stephen Mullins of Red Bison Studio, Award of Excellence in Small Business recipient; Brian Miller and Antonia Armenta Miller of Bonafide Foods, Business Person of the Year Award recipient (Antonia); Casey Osborn of EMIT, Award of Excellence in Large Business recipient; Jenny Craft, Spirit of Sheridan Award recipient; Erin Butler of the WYO Theater, Inc., Strength of Sheridan Award recipient; and Sasha Johnston, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Board President.
Photo courtesy Capturyd Studios.

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of the 2019 Awards of Excellence during the Feb. 12 Chamber Lunch at the Holiday Inn Sheridan.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by members of the Chamber. The nominations then went before the Chamber’s Awards Committee, who compiled the final slate of nominees. Voting to determine the winners was done by the membership via on-line ballot.

The awards presented and the recipients are:

Spirit of Sheridan

This award honors a business or individual who volunteers countless hours for the betterment of the Chamber and Sheridan County: demonstrates vision, ambition, and drive to serve the community and the mission of the Chamber, understanding a community thrives when those in it invest and contribute to its success.

2019 Recipient: Jenny Craft

Ask anyone who knows Jenny Craft to describe her in one word, and you’ll most likely hear “connector.” Although Jenny Craft’s job at the Homer A. & Mildred S. Scott Foundation involves providing financial support to the area’s non-profit organizations, philanthropy and volunteer work are an integral part of Jenny’s personal life as well. She serves as a Big Sister for Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters, a volunteer coach and referee for the Sheridan County YMCA, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Compass Center for Families, assists with the Keystone Awards, delivers Meals on Wheels with The Hub on Smith and Sheridan Rotary Club, and serves as Rotary’s Inbound Exchange Student Coordinator. She also participates in Rotary’s numerous service projects throughout the community. Jenny says “Contributing to someone’s day, project, community program or large-scale endeavor truly feels great. To be part of a team, to be part of an initiative with a positive outcome really benefits my life.”

Key Service

This award honors a Chamber member non-profit organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County: a non-profit that serves with enthusiasm and dedication, addressing needs in the community and aligning the vision of its organization for maximum effectiveness.

2019 Recipient: Sheridan Community Land Trust

Sheridan Community Land Trust (SCLT) works to preserve our heritage of open spaces, healthy rivers and creeks, working ranches, wildlife habitat and vibrant history, while expanding recreation opportunities to connect people with the places they love. In the last year, more than 10,000 visitors have enjoyed the 13 miles of single-track trail built and maintained by SCLT, including Red Grade Trails at the base of the Bighorns, and Soldier Ridge and Hidden Hoot trails on the west edge of Sheridan. They’ve also developed the Tongue River Water Trail, organized educational courses for ranchers, recreationists and children, preserved two iconic images of Sheridan’s past through their historic preservation easements and worked with local families to conserve 3,000 acres in Sheridan County. SCLT most recently announced a trailblazing partnership with EMIT Technologies to bring more recreational trails close to home and received approval for the Red Grade Trails expansion to develop 15 new miles of safe, sustainable trails so more people have new ways to enjoy the beauty of the Bighorns.

Strength of Sheridan

This award honors a Chamber member business or organization that has a long and distinguished tenure in the community (20+ years):  an organization that demonstrates consistent service, continually invests in the community, and demonstrates sustained quality performance.

2019 Recipient: WYO Theater, Inc.

The WYO Performing Arts & Education Center (also known as the WYO Theater) is a live performing arts venue in the heart of downtown Sheridan offering a wide variety of live performances, student classes, rental space and like activities. The WYO serves as a gathering place for individuals of all incomes, backgrounds and ages to enjoy a shared experience and is often cited as one reason newcomers decide to relocate to Sheridan. The WYO’s nominator said, “The WYO offers (among many things) a place for children to learn and grow in confidence and skills, space for other nonprofits and Sheridan College, the opportunity for residents region-wide to broaden their cultural horizons and is an economic driver for Main Street.” This past season the WYO served nearly 21,000 patrons, with close to 4,000 of those students attending one of nine free student matinees. The WYO presented or hosted 20 free outreach events in 2018-2019, offered more than 2,700 free or discounted tickets to those in need and logged 7,000 plus volunteer hours. In the past year, the WYO celebrated its 30th Anniversary Season and was a recipient of a Governor’s Arts Award.

Small Business (under 20 full-time employees)

This award honors a Chamber member small business that demonstrates steady growth, solid leadership and a strong commitment to the success of the Sheridan area. This business shows innovation in strategic planning, employee development and customer service and is actively involved in the betterment of the community.

2019 Recipient: Red Bison Studio

Red Bison Studio started in 2012 in a ceramics class at the University of Wyoming by owner Stephen Mullins. In 2014, Stephen moved to Sheridan for a teaching job and the studio continued to grow to the point that he was able to resign from teaching and open a brick and mortar shop in downtown Sheridan in June 2018.  By February 2019, Stephen hired additional employees and moved into a larger location on Sheridan’s Main Street. Red Bison Studio continues to grow its customer base locally, statewide and beyond. One of Stephen’s goals when opening Red Bison was to make clay accessible to nearly everyone. He and his staff are dementia friendly certified and work with rural schools who don’t have a ceramics program. As stated by one of his nominators, “Using his teaching background and creative skills, Stephen has developed an amazing community clay studio that is welcoming to people of all ages, skills and abilities.” This past year, Stephen also was recognized for his work, receiving an honorable mention in the Wyoming Arts Council fellowship program.

Large Business (20 or more full-time employees)

This award honors a Chamber member large business that maintains consistent growth and strong performance, understands its customer, has an engaged workforce with effective leadership, and is continually innovating to support future growth. This business not only invests in its continued success, but also invests its resources in the success of the community.

2019 Recipient: EMIT

EMIT was founded in 2000 by Casey and Sue Osborn who had relocated to Sheridan after working in the oil and gas industry. From their experience with air quality requirements affecting natural gas-fired engines used in gas compression, EMIT began building catalytic converters out of a shop near Fifth and Main. With the basic focus of providing a customer-focused solution, EMIT has built upon that strategy to offer a variety of exhaust, controls, structural and safety solutions to the gas compression industry. This year EMIT has successfully relocated all of its manufacturing to a state-of-the-art facility on North Main Street and continues to expand all operations into one North 4.0 campus. EMIT considers it an honor and a duty to reinvest resources back into the community through their #EMITCommunity initiatives. By partnering with some of the organizations in and around Sheridan who are making real impacts in our community, they continue to work towards making Sheridan a better place for everyone.

Business Person of the Year

This award honors a Chamber member business person who shows outstanding business acumen and strong leadership in business and community efforts. This person is a champion for economic development, constantly strives to exceed customer expectations, delivers industry leading standards of service and quality, and exhibits innovation in business development.

2019 Recipient: Antonia Armenta-Miller, Bonafide Foods

In 2017, Antonia Armenta-Miller and her husband, Brian, decided to take all of their life savings and make their dream of a mobile food business a reality. After being involved in the local foods network in the Sheridan area, the couple realized that the producers needed a larger commercial outlet for their produce and products to stay viable, and locally Sheridan needed some “real and genuine” local foods. Thus the Bonafide Food Truck was born and after the first summer, Bonafide catering was added. Bonafide now purchases over $40,000 in local meats and produce each year, providing clients with the freshest of foods and their producers a viable living. Outside of the business Antonia has been active on the Farmers Market steering committee and Local Foods Board and was instrumental in establishing the mobile vending policy for the City of Sheridan. She and Brian volunteer with Rooted in Wyoming and Pheasants Forever and are leaders of mentor-ship program of the national FOODTRUCKR network. In the past year, Antonia opened a community commissary kitchen for other mobile vendors and local producers to have access to a certified kitchen.

For more information, contact the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce at (307) 672-2485.


Chamber to Recognize Nominees, Announce Recipients of 2019 Awards of Excellence

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Business Awards Lunch to recognize nominees and announce the recipients of the 2019 Awards of Excellence on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 11:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Sheridan.

The awards to be presented and their nominees are as follows:

Spirit of Sheridan
This award honors a business or individual who volunteers countless hours for the betterment of the Chamber and Sheridan County: demonstrates vision, ambition, and drive to serve the community and the mission of the Chamber, understanding a community thrives when those in it invest and contribute to its success. Nominees for the Spirit of Sheridan Award are:

•             Jenny Craft
•             Christine Dieterich
•             Mark Kinner
•             Gail Symons
•             Matt Westkott

Key Service
This award honors a Chamber member non-profit organization that has made a significant impact in Sheridan County: a non-profit that serves with enthusiasm and dedication, addressing needs in the community and aligning the vision of its organization for maximum effectiveness. Nominees for the Key Service Award are:

•             Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters
•             Holy Name Catholic School
•             Rooted in Wyoming Youth Gardening Collaboration
•             Sheridan Community Land Trust
•             Tongue River Valley Community Center

Strength of Sheridan
This award honors a Chamber member business or organization that has a long and distinguished tenure in the community (20+ years):  an organization that demonstrates consistent service, continually invests in the community, and demonstrates sustained quality performance. Nominees for the Strength of Sheridan Award are:

•             Carroll’s Furniture
•             Sheridan Rotary Club
•             Sheridan Stationery Books & Gallery
•             Sheridan WYO Rodeo
•             WYO Theater, Inc.

Small Business (under 20 full-time employees)
This award honors a Chamber member small business that demonstrates steady growth, solid leadership and a strong commitment to the success of the Sheridan area. This business shows innovation in strategic planning, employee development and customer service and is actively involved in the betterment of the community. Nominees for the Small Business Award are:

•             BEST Real Estate, WY, LLC
•             Born in a Barn, LLC
•             Domino’s Pizza
•             Red Bison Studio
•             Teton Therapy

Large Business (20 or more full-time employees)
This award honors a Chamber member large business that maintains consistent growth and strong performance, understands its customer, has an engaged workforce with effective leadership, and is continually innovating to support future growth. This business not only invests in its continued success, but also invests its resources in the success of the community. Nominees for the Large Business Award are:

•             EMIT
•             Frontier Asset Management, LLC
•             Security State Bank
•             SWCA Environmental Consultants
•             WWC Engineering

Business Person of the Year
This award honors a Chamber member business person who shows outstanding business acumen and strong leadership in business and community efforts. This person is a champion for economic development, constantly strives to exceed customer expectations, delivers industry leading standards of service and quality, and exhibits innovation in business development. Nominees Business Person(s) of the Year are:

•             Antonia Armenta-Miller, Bonafide Foods, LLC
•             Melissa Butcher, Confluence Collaborative & Lazy R Campground & Cabins
•             Bob Gates, Alpine Climate Control, Inc.
•             Kayla Hert, Real Deals on Home Décor
•             Andrew McFaul, Excalibur Construction, Inc. & Camelot Realty, Inc.

Nominations for the awards were submitted by members of the Chamber. The nominations then went before the Chamber’s Awards Committee, who compiled the final slate of nominees. Voting to determine the winners was done by the membership via on-line ballot. The recipients will be announced at the Awards Lunch.

The Awards Lunch is open to everyone, and cost is $17 per person which includes the program and lunch buffet. Reservations are requested and may be made online here, by calling the Chamber at (307) 672-2485, emailing info@sheridanwyomingchamber.org or visiting the Chamber Office at 24 S. Main St.


Chamber to Host Pre-Session Breakfast with Local Delegation

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee will host “Eggs & Issues: Pre-Session Breakfast with Our Local Delegation” on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Sheridan.

Each of the legislators in attendance will discuss what they see as some of the most important issues facing us this upcoming session, followed by question and answer time.

A full breakfast buffet will be served. Cost is $15 per person, and RSVPs are required at https://conta.cc/2QWH3in or by calling (307) 672-2485.


2019 Lighting & Decorating Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Christmas Stroll Lighting & Decorating Contest! Please be sure to view these in person…photos do not do them justice at all! Thank you to everyone who participated – the judges had a tough time deciding among so many wonderfully decorated businesses!

INDOOR CATEGORY: First place – Babe’s Flowers, 23 N. Main St.
INDOOR CATEGORY: Second place – Turned Antiques Etc., 1 Lower Piney Creek Rd., Banner
OUTDOOR CATEGORY: First place – Best Out West Antiques & Collectibles, 109 N. Main St.
OUTDOOR CATEGORY: Second place – Epiphany, 619 Broadway

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