COVID-19 Resources for Employers

Employers carry a heavy burden during this challenging time. They must balance personal and family care, employee safety and livelihoods, all while trying to keep their businesses afloat.

Below are resources available to help Wyoming business owners juggle it all.

Among these resources are a number of federal aid programs. The SBDC has compiled a chart that offers employers a chance to see these programs compared side by side. We recommend you visit with your local lender about what will be most effective for your situation.

We know there are many organizations, government agencies and private businesses providing information through tools like webinars, as well as shifting their events to a digital format. We invite you to submit your webinar or event here.

Are you an employee? We have resources for you, too. Click here. Looking for tools that can help your community remain resilient? Click here.

Technical Assistance

Wyoming has a deep roster of business assistance resources available in good times and bad. Below are just a few.

Wyoming SBDC Network - The SBDC is available to help you prepare federal SBA loan application packages for free. They can provide virtual advising and consulting sessions to assess potential pinch points in your business plan as well as opportunities for growth and expansion. Contact your regional director today.

Manufacturing-Works - The M-W team has engineers and business consultants on staff who can guide you through prototyping, supply chains, manufacturing efficiencies and more

Wyoming Business Council - Our regional directors are available to steer you to the right resources, offer advice and provide business expertise. Find your regional here.

 

Finance Checklist

Check with your local bank to see how they can help you deal with financial struggles.

- For credit card clients, options may include rescheduling payments, waiving interest or waiving late payment charges.

- If you have a consumer or business loan, the bank may be able to defer your loan payments or accept interest-only payments for a period of time. They may also waive the change fee for deferrals. New loans, or extending existing credit may also be options for you.

- In addition to deferral options, if you own a small business, U.S. Small Business Administration lenders can help you navigate disaster relief options. The best solution for you may be a combination of bank assistance and SBA relief.

The Department of Workforce Services is waiving penalties and interest on late payments for workman's compensation. Find details of how to apply for a waiver here.

- Homeowners concerned about their mortgage may be able to work with their bank to receive a reduced mortgage payment or no mortgage payment for a short period. In addition, the Federal Housing Finance Agency directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days due to the coronavirus. The agency has also added flexibility for appraisals and employment verifications.

- Rental Assistance - Mortgage counseling and rental assistance may be available through one of Wyoming's federally approved housing counseling agencies. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has provided eviction suspension relief for renters in multifamily properties.

- Your bank may waive penalties for early Certificate of Deposit withdrawals.

Agriculture Assistance

- USDA Rural Development has launched a COVID-19 resource page to keep customers, partners and stakeholders continuously updated on actions taken by the Agency to help rural residents, businesses and communities with payment assistance, application deadline extensions and more.

The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide relief to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to covid-19.

Business Best Practices

Resilience in a Box - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has put together a thorough set of tools, checklists, best practices, questions and materials to help small businesses better prepare for disasters. Check it out here.

Protect Your Employees - Find steps you can take to mitigate the spread of the virus among your staff.

Response Toolkit - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed a website with a wide array of resources for business owners here.

Rural Assistance - The Wyoming Department of Ag has made available guidance for live auctions. For more information regarding rural resources, take a look at this guide from the USDA.

Human Resources Assistance

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Find out what is and isn't allowed when asking your employees about their exposure to COVID-19.

OSHA Guidance - Find some guidance on how to make sure your workplace is safe as possible for you and your employees. Find safety information specific to Wyoming and Montana here.

High Deductible Health Plans - Changes by the IRS now allow for COVID-19 testing and treatment before you've met your annual deductible. You must still check with your plan provider to see if they will cover these expenses.

Family Medical Leave Act - If you or your employees are ill, or caring for ill family members, here's what you need to know about the FMLA. And here's information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act), which expands the FMLA for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Securing Your Supply Chain

The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recommends businesses consider these steps when assessing their current supply chains and considering alternatives:

Assess your organization's supply chain for potential impacts from disruption of transport logistics and international manufacturing slowdowns resulting from COVID-19.

Discuss with those suppliers any challenges they may be facing, or may expect to face, due to the outbreak.

Identify potential alternate sources of supply, substitute products, and/or conservation measures to mitigate disruptions.

Communicate with key customers to keep them informed of any issues you have identified, and the steps you are taking to mitigate them.

Manufacturing-Works can provide technical assistance to secure supply chains. Visit here for more information.

Protect Your Community

Your community needs your leadership as much as you need your community. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is using its Corporate Aid Tracker to provide details of how businesses are helping each other and their communities across the country.

Please remember to align with your local government efforts - County Homeland Security Offices https://hls.wyo.gov/contacts/county-contacts