State prepares relief rollout

The Wyoming Business Council is getting ready for another round of relief grants, this time in larger amounts and for nonprofits as well as businesses.

In four webinars on Thursday council executives will explain the rules for those that hope to apply for the grants. Businesses are invited to webinars at 7 a.m. and noon that day. For nonprofits the webinars will start at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. To register go to WyoBizRelief.org.

Stipends from the Relief Fund of up to $300,000 will be available to businesses and nonprofits that have “lost business due to public health orders and/or have incurred COVID-19-related expenses.” Applications will be invited from businesses with 100 or fewer employees and nonprofits that have at least one full-time paid employee and do not spent more than 50% of their time on lobbying. Eligible nonprofits include 501((c)(3), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(12) and 501(c)(19) organizations.

Businesses and nonprofits of all sizes will also be eligible to apply for grants from the Mitigation Fund to cover their costs of buying cleaning products, sanitizers and other items and implementing safety protocols to protect employees and customers from the coronavirus.

Businesses and nonprofits will apply online. The application period will open in the next couple of weeks, the Business Council said.

The grants are the second and third steps in the three-phase COVID-19 Business Relief Program created by the state Legislature to distribute $325 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funds.

The application period for the first phase closed July 2. In that phase the Business Council is paying out around $100 million in Business Interruption Stipends to businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The maximum grant was $50,000, and nonprofits were not invited to apply. Small businesses that received Business Interruption Stipends in phase one are eligible to apply for the larger grants that are about to become available, but the rules won’t be the same.

“With larger amounts of funding available in this next round, eligible applicants will be required to provide more detailed information,” Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said in a press release.

— Jennifer Dorsey

Stio partners with Coombs Outdoors

The nonprofit Coombs Outdoors has forged new partnerships with Stio, a mountain clothing brand homegrown in Jackson, and 1% for the Planet, an international network of several thousand businesses that donate the equivalent of 1% of gross sales to environmental nonprofits.

Stio will be the “official and exclusive apparel partner” of Coombs Outdoors, which serves over 250 children and families from the workforce population, including the service industry. Its programs include downhill and Nordic skiing, soccer camp and summer outdoor adventures like hiking in Grand Teton National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest, whitewater rafting and rock climbing.

Stio will provide winter outerwear and summer gear to participants. It also will establish a mentoring and internship program between the two organizations and “collaborate on storytelling opportunities to elevate new voices.”

With 1% for the Planet, Coombs Outdoors is a new nonprofit partner.

“This partnership will help Coombs Outdoors connect with businesses and individuals in the outdoor industry who share the same values of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in outdoor spaces as well as creating the next generation of environmental stewards,” the nonprofit said in a press release.

“Leave no trace” principles, trail etiquette and appreciating the importance of the natural environment are things Coombs Outdoors participants learn while having fun.

“Many kids discover the spectacular beauty of the natural world for the first time through Coombs programs,” Executive Director Mary Erickson said in the release. “Environmental stewardship lessons are woven into the program curriculum so that kids begin to understand the fragility of the world and their role in being good stewards of the earth.”

— Staff report

Targhee makes masks mandatory

Grand Targhee Resort said visitors 5 and older must wear face coverings, starting today, when they are in indoor public areas as well as outdoors where they can’t maintain a distance of 6 feet from other people.

The Alta ski area made the announcement before a Teton County mask order took effect.

“We are committed to keeping our guests, community and employees safe while providing a fun place to get outdoors,” Targhee said in a press release.

Guests must wear masks:

• When entering, leaving or moving around a restaurant. They are exempted only while sitting at a table or bar as long as there is 6 feet between parties.

• While inside Rendezvous Lodge, Teewinot Lodge, the General Store, the Summit Nature Center, Teton Mountain Outfitters and Habitat|High Altitude Provisions.

• While loading on and unloading from the lifts and anywhere within the base area where a minimum of a 6-foot distance cannot be achieved.

Children younger than 5 who cannot tolerate a face covering won’t have to wear one.

Also exempt: People with a medical condition, a mental health condition or special circumstance that prevents wearing a face covering or shield; and visitors who are hearing impaired or are communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

Anyone in these categories should go to the ticket window or front desk to get a wristband showing they are exempt.

The resort will provide people with a temporary face covering if they don’t have one.

— Staff report

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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