Chamber Wraps Up Pledge Local Challenge with 501 Champions, over $39,000 in Chamber Bucks Spent at Local Businesses

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce completed its seven-week Pledge Local Challenge on July 31 and held the grand prize drawing for $500 in Chamber Bucks today. Congratulations to grand prize drawing winner, Mandi Hicks!

In total, the Challenge drew 501 people to become Pledge Local Champions with $39,360 in Chamber Bucks spent at local businesses. Chamber Bucks, a gift certificate program provided by the Chamber, can be redeemed at most Sheridan County businesses and are a great way to encourage shopping locally. Chamber Bucks can be purchased year-round at the Chamber Office.

The Chamber kicked off the Pledge Local Challenge on June 15. During the Challenge, the community was invited to “Take the Pledge” to become a Pledge Local Champion. The Challenge had two parts:

1.            Purchase and spend at least $50 in Chamber Bucks between June 15 and July 31.

2.            Challenge at least two friends, family members or co-workers to also become Pledge Local Champions.

Each week, every new person who took the pledge during that week was entered into a drawing for $100 in Chamber Bucks. All Pledge Local Champions were entered into the grand prize drawing.

The purpose of the Challenge was to help stimulate the local economy by injecting money directly into the community, spread the word about the importance of supporting local businesses and create excitement and positivity for the Sheridan County community.

For more information, contact the Chamber at 672-2485.


Governor Announces Applications for $225M in Business Relief Funding Open on Aug. 4

Governor Mark Gordon announced that applications for the next two waves of funding under the COVID-19 Business Relief Program will open to Wyoming businesses and nonprofits at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4. 

The Relief Fund and Mitigation Fund make an additional $225 million available to Wyoming businesses and nonprofits that have experienced hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. Visit wyobizrelief.org Tuesday after 10 a.m. to apply. 

“This much-needed funding is a lifeline to businesses and nonprofits hurt by COVID-19, and vital to our efforts to support Wyoming’s economy and our communities,” Governor Gordon said. The Governor signed the emergency rules for both programs on July 27.

“It’s tough to gauge the demand and frequency of applications prior to the launch of these two programs, so now is a good time for businesses and nonprofits to familiarize themselves with all of the helpful tools and information at wyobizrelief.org if they haven’t already done so,” Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said. “There are FAQs, live and recorded informational webinar opportunities, and a grant calculator graphic you can work on with your lender or accountant in order to submit a solid application as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The Relief Fund has $50 million set aside for businesses and nonprofits required to close by public health order and an additional $125 million available to cover COVID-19 related expenses and direct or indirect losses due to public health orders. Awards up to $300,000 are available and businesses must employ 100 or fewer people. Eligible nonprofits include 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(12) and 501(c)(19) with at least one paid full-time employee and no more than 50 percent of time spent on lobbying. 

The Mitigation Fund reimburses all Wyoming businesses and nonprofits that have incurred employee and customer health and safety expenses that were a direct impact of COVID-19. The Mitigation Fund has $50 million available with awards up to $500,000.

Currently, half of these funds are available for businesses and nonprofits that have already incurred COVID-19 related losses or expenses. The remaining funds will be dispersed at a later date to ensure funding is available to assist entities that anticipate losses and expenses later in the year.

ABOUT THE COVID-19 BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAM

In May 2020, the Wyoming Legislature created three programs to distribute $325 million in federal CARES Act funding to Wyoming businesses and nonprofits that have experienced hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. The Wyoming Business Council is distributing these dollars through the COVID-19 Business Relief Program, which has been broken down into three funds – the Interruption Fund, the Relief Fund, and the Mitigation Fund. Go to wyobizrelief.org to stay informed about program details and to register to receive Business Council news releases.


Extension of Current Public Health Orders Continues Through August 15

Governor Mark Gordon has announced that Wyoming’s current public health orders will remain in place through August 15 as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the state.

“It is important for all of us to remain vigilant as we continue to see case numbers increase statewide,” Governor Gordon said. “We are approaching a critical time for our state’s economy. So far, Wyoming has been able to keep our businesses open and our citizens safe. That’s good for our economy and good for the health of our people.”

“As we look towards the fall, we must remember that continued business expansion is a fragile thing and depends on each citizen doing their best to keep our economy flourishing,” the Governor continued. “I sincerely thank those Wyoming citizens who are taking action to keep our businesses open by voluntarily wearing a mask when you can’t socially distance.”

Public Health Order No. 1 has been updated to provide more specific guidelines for school operations. This includes a continuation of the existing requirement that students wear face coverings in situations where 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained. Specific exemptions are listed in the orders. The Wyoming Office of Homeland Security and Wyoming Department of Education have partnered to distribute 500,000 cloth face coverings to school districts around the state. School districts have until Aug. 3 to submit their Smart Start reopening plans to the Department of Education.

Over the past 14 days, Wyoming has averaged 37 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 per day, with 523 new cases confirmed since July 12. From June 28-July 12, Wyoming averaged 28 new cases per day and there were 385 lab-confirmed cases reported. On July 28, the state reported 64 lab-confirmed cases, the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. 

The Wyoming Department of Health and the Governor continue to strongly recommend the use of face coverings in public settings where it is not possible or reasonable to stay physically apart. On Wyoming’s COVID-19 dashboard the categories of number of new cases and new hospitalizations continue to be rated, “Concerning.”

The continuing orders allow gatherings up to 50 persons in a confined space to occur without restrictions and permit events of up to 250 persons with social distancing and increased sanitization measures in place. Faith-based gatherings such as church services and funeral homes will continue to be permitted to operate without restrictions, with appropriate social distancing encouraged. The public health restrictions that apply to restaurants, bars, gyms and performance spaces will remain in place.

As of July 28, Wyoming has recorded 2,136 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, 453 probable cases and 26 deaths.

The updated public health orders are attached and can be found on Wyoming’s COVID-19 website




Candidate Forums for Primary Election Candidates Set for July 22 and July 29

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee is hosting Candidate Forums July 22 in Sheridan and July 29 in Dayton.

The forums provide an opportunity for those running in contested races for elected office in the Aug. 18 primary election to share information about themselves and their platforms. Each candidate will give a brief introduction, followed by a Q&A period.

The July 22 Sheridan forum will host candidates for state, county and city races. This forum will be held at the WYO Theater, with a limited audience of 50, and will be livestreamed on the Chamber’s YouTube Channel. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required by 5 p.m. Monday, July 20, for in-person attendance. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis, and registrants will be assigned seats upon arrival at the WYO Theater. Due to the WYO Theater’s COVID-19 requirements, the Chamber cannot accommodate those who do not register in advance. The use of face masks is encouraged and may be removed once seated. To register, click here. The livestream will be recorded and available following the forum on the Chamber’s YouTube Channel, website and Facebook page.

The July 29 Tongue River Valley forum will host candidates for State Representative 51, County Commissioners and Dayton Town Council races. It will be held as an in-person event only at the Tongue River Valley Community Center in Dayton at 6:30 p.m. Registration is not required for this forum.

For more information, contact the Chamber at (307) 672-2485.

The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce encourages event attendees to maintain social distancing of at least six feet whenever possible and to wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible. We ask that anyone not feeling well, showing COVID-19 symptoms or having tested positive for COVID-19 or who has had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to please stay home.


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