The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors recommended two Business Ready Community (BRC) funding requests during its March 5 meeting in Greybull.
Thursday’s meeting was the first under new Business Council Chief Executive Officer Josh Dorrell and new Board leadership. Prior to Thursday, the Business Council has been considering BRC rule changes to better align the program with the agency’s new strategy and respond to Wyoming’s changing economy.
“We’re looking at it from a business point of view and good stewardship of the state’s money, and to do our best to invest in projects that have a positive ROI,” Dorrell said. “We realize it’s not all about ROI, and we’re not cutting off community development, but we’re going to look carefully at how projects impact the local and state economies.”
“The Business Council Board deliberated on these projects very thoroughly and recommended funding for $303,084 out of the requested $11,329,422,” Board Co-Chairman Mike Easley said. “The Business Council will continue to evolve its process for evaluating projects while keeping in mind its new strategy approved in May 2019, program funding levels, and the collective business experience represented by the Business Council Board.”
“I appreciate the Business Council’s thoughtful consideration of the BRC funding requests,” Governor Mark Gordon said. “Moving forward, it is critical we recognize the limited resources available and the way this program can best support local economic growth.”
The board's BRC recommendations now move to the State Loan and Investment Board (SLIB) at its 8 a.m. meeting on April 9 in Cheyenne. The SLIB makes final decisions on BRC funding requests.
Board meeting materials are available for review at www.wyomingbusiness.org/boardbook
BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY (BRC) GRANT APPLICATIONS
Business Council staff review each application, conduct site visits, or conference calls in the case of planning grants, and make presentations to a board subcommittee before making final recommendations to the full board.
About the Program: The Wyoming Business Council administers the BRC grant and loan program, which provides financing for publicly owned infrastructure that serves the needs of businesses and promotes economic development within Wyoming communities.
The Business Council board is required by statute to forward BRC grant and loan recommendations to the SLIB. The SLIB is comprised of the five statewide elected officials: the governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer and state superintendent of public instruction.
- Laramie County requests a $3 million grant and $3 million loan to build a 57,000 square-foot manufacturing facility to house WYTEC, LLC, a company that manufactures components of cages for rodents used in medical research. (Board does not recommend funding.)
- Converse County requests a $3 million grant to install water and sewer infrastructure that will enable development of retail, restaurants, apartments, senior housing and single-family housing in Douglas. (Board does not recommend funding.)
- The Town of Sinclair requests a $1,915,000 grant to restore the Historic Sinclair Theatre. (Board does not recommend funding.)
- The Town of Hudson requests a $111,338 grant for the upgrade and renovation of playground equipment and a picnic shelter in the town-owned Svilar Park. (Board does not recommend funding.)
- Niobrara County requests a $268,084 grant to upgrade and enhance the aging Niobrara County Fairgrounds Main Building. (Board recommends funding as requested.)
- The Town of Evansville requests a $35,000 economic development planning grant to hire a planning consultant to develop a Comprehensive Community Plan. The plan will be the basis for many decisions faced by the community. (Board recommends funding up to the $35,000 request.)
Contact Ron Gullberg, Strategic Partnerships Director, at 307-777-2833 or firstname.lastname@example.org.