The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) has released a new Business Ready Communities (BRC) Grant and Loan Program application. This application will be in effect for the next round of project applications due Dec. 1, 2021.
The new application is better aligned with the State of Wyoming's economic development strategy, recently adopted program rules, and new evaluation criteria. Staff also updated the application to clarify some questions past applicants felt were confusing.
"As BRC funding becomes scarcer, the Business Council is tasked with finding a more consistent way to consider and evaluate projects while ensuring - through enhanced diligence - that these limited funds garner the best return on investment for our state and its future," explained WBC Investments Division Director Julie Kozlowski.
The new application provides more clarity and additional questions to help with project analysis. It now addresses components that will help staff analyze:
- How well potential jobs fit into the community.
- What a company’s potential impact may be on the community, region, and state.
- The community and applicant’s due diligence.
- The scope and impact of the project on the local community as well as the state’s economic development endeavors.
"Our hope with this new application is that businesses and communities have a better roadmap to the funding process. Ultimately, our goal is that it creates a better investment for the state while improving the speed and experience of the process,” Kozlowski added. "Better investments in the state equal a stronger Wyoming for everyone."
WBC Board and staff have been working on internal evaluation criteria for the past several months. These criteria will be used to initially review BRC grant and loan projects and eventually all WBC investments. The goal is a streamlined evaluation process that ensures staff and board members can adequately, accurately, and objectively assess investment projects.
“These criteria will not only help staff analyze projects more objectively, but it will also provide a framework and working model that should improve the process and create better communication around critical areas of concern in the funding process,” Kozlowski said. “This is not meant to provide all the answers but more a process that ensures we have the right tools in our toolbox.”
Throughout the BRC process, WBC staff provides guidance to public entities as they put together their applications; reviews drafts, business plans, and financial statements; and conducts site visits along with other hands-on assistance.
ABOUT THE BUSINESS READY COMMUNITY (BRC) GRANT & LOAN PROGRAM
This investment program provides financing for publicly owned infrastructure that serves the needs of businesses and promotes economic development within Wyoming communities. Eligible public infrastructure includes water; sewer; roads; airports; rights of way; telecommunications; land; spec buildings; amenities within a business park, industrial park, industrial site or business district; landscaping, recreation, and educational facilities; managed data centers; and other physical projects that support primary economic and educational development.
The new BRC application is available on the WBC website at wyomingbusiness.org/brc. For questions or more information, contact the following WBC staff: