The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce hopes to inject $1 million into local business through a gift certificate “bond” program. Shoppers can go to 22Local.com and buy a gift certificate that will be worth more than the purchase when they eventually redeem it. So far 44 businesses of all types are participating.

SBA releases PPP guidance

The Small Business Administration released forms and instructions for how businesses can apply for forgiveness of their Paycheck Protection Program loans.

An SBA press release said the “form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers. These include:

• “Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an ‘alternative payroll covered period’ that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles.

• “Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan.

• “Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness.

• “Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30.

• “Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined.”

To see the form and instructions visit TinyURL.com/y73lxdc8.

— Staff report

Teton Media Works awards grants

As of late Tuesday afternoon, Teton Media Works has awarded 85 businesses more than $150,000 through a matching grants offer announced last week.

The company, whose holdings include the News&Guide, the Jackson Hole Daily and Hole Scroll, is offering matching grants of up to $300,000 toward advertising for locally owned and operated businesses.

The money is for businesses that need assistance with local advertising and promotion through the News&Guide and other print and digital publications of Teton Media Works.

“Our efforts toward funding community journalism depend heavily on advertising,” Vice President and Associate Publisher Adam Meyer said. “Resuming our longtime advertising relationships with reopening businesses, along with helping new customers, is what our advertising team does best. The ultimate return on Teton Media Works’ investment will be measured through rebuilding our readers’ support for businesses in our community during a time when we need journalism most.”

— Staff report

22Local gets promo cash

The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board approved a $20,000 grant for the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce to promote 22Local.com, a new site where valley businesses are selling discounted gift certificates that will be worth more when buyers go to use them.

“I love the communal aspect of it,” board Chairman Brian Gallagher said during a Zoom meeting Thursday.

The site went live May 13, and the chamber requested the money so it could promote 22Local regionally and nationally.

“It performed unbelievably well yesterday on launch day,” chamber President and CEO Anna Olson told the board. “What we really need to do is put some steroids under it.”

The idea of 22Local.com is to pump money into the Jackson Hole business community as it struggles through the economic fallout of the pandemic. The chamber is hoping for at least $1 million in May.

The number of participating businesses is continuing to grow.

“We are onboarding fast and furious,” Olson said.

— Jennifer Dorsey

Clean. Careful. Connected.

The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board’s meeting Thursday included a briefing on the new “Clean. Careful. Connected” campaign developed by ad agency Colle McVoy as a unified message for the valley.

The platform is “Responsibly Wild,” and the pillars are those three C’s. A tagline reads, “We’re staying safe so you can say wild.”

It’s intended to convey that businesses and others in the community take COVID-19 seriously and are taking steps to protect customers and employees with sanitizing, social distancing and information.

It also aims to encourage visitors to behave responsibly.

VisitJacksonHole.com says: “Jackson Hole is pleased to gradually welcome visitors back to our small town. Due to our limited health resources we ask careful consideration of your trip and ask that you please abide by our Clean, Careful, Connected guidelines.”

The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce also talks about the three C’s on its website:

“With initial steps in place, we are happy to welcome you slowly to this magical place. ... Please remember to be clean, careful, and connected:

“Clean: Wash your hands often and cover coughs and sneezes.

“Careful: Wear a cloth face covering when in confined spaces. Our community has put tremendous effort to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and we ask that you follow suit to help reduce its spread.

“Connected: Read our most up-to-date health orders and phased safety measures here Tetonwyo.org/163/Health-Dept.

In a new chamber video (Vimeo.com/420085652) Jackson Mayor Pete Muldoon pulls down his face mask and says, “We are gradually reopening with your safety and the safety of our community top of mind. To do so we are dedicated to responsible tourism in three ways: staying clean, careful and connected.”

Among other things he urges visitors to wash their hands and wear cloth face coverings in places like grocery stores, pharmacies and crowded sidewalks.

— Jennifer Dorsey

That empty feeling

A Wall Street Journal article used a Travel Wyoming video (TinyURL.com/y959f59c) to illustrate how rural destinations are seeing marketing opportunities in their ability to offer visitors some space.

“’Safe’ Becomes Rural Tourism Pitch to a Distancing Public,” the headline reads. “The natural beauty was always there. Now ‘isolated’ and empty are selling points in the age of coronavirus.”

One expert who was quoted, Will Davie, head of strategy for new business at the New York City-based ad agency Droga5, said it won’t be enough to just tout the potential for seclusion.

Given that beautiful, wide-open spaces aren’t hard to find in America, he said, “as tourism begins to rebound destinations like these will need to get sharp on why their brand of remoteness is better than the rest.”

— Staff Report

Mountainist offers fishing gear

Starting Thursday, Mountainist will add Orvis’ women-specific fly-fishing gear to its online rental inventory.

Waders, boots and prerigged fly rods will be available to rent for an average of $19 a day, the Alpine-based company said in a press release.

The online rental company founded by Tana Hoffman offers women-specific gear for outdoor sports like dirt biking and snowmobiling that require expensive, specialized equipment to participate.

The release cited a special report by Outdoor Industry Association that found that female participation in fly-fishing reached an all-time high in 2018 and continues to grow.

“Orvis is one of the most recognized brands in the fly-fishing industry, and considering the efforts they’ve made to support female participation they were the obvious choice for our customers,” Hoffman said in the release. “We’re excited to create new opportunities for women to get outside and interact with nature, especially when so many are dealing with isolation as a result of the pandemic.”

— Jennifer Dorsey

Stio adds new production manager

The Jackson outdoor and sports clothing company Stio has hired an industry veteran to direct its production and sourcing.

Gena Calegari has more than 20 years experience in the business, Stio announced, including about 15 years at Gap Brand, most of that time working for Old Navy overseeing rollouts while serving as senior manager of global production strategy.

A release said Calegari has “exposure to the entirety of the creation cycle across all categories and multiple countries of origin.”

Kelly Hill, Stio chief product officer, said Calegari “is an important hire for Stio as we continue to strengthen our sourcing and production strategies and partnerships.”

— Staff report

J.C. Jewelers featured in trade journal

InStore magazine, a trade journal, spotlighted J.C. Jewelers in its April issue.

“If Logs Could Talk,” the headline reads. “Store in a cabin connects with customers from all over the world.”

Eileen McLelland’s feature story describes how the jewelry store’s owners, husband and wife Jeter and Jan Case, met in high school in Jackson, started their business in 1988 in a corner of a clothing store and then moved it into a cabin built by painter Archie Teater in the 1930s.

“Rustic logs back modern wood cases, displaying contemporary wearable sculptures. Their original interior designer called the look ‘Manhattan in a cabin.’”

The article also describes how the couple — he’s the designer and she’s a certified gemologist appraiser — have worked to accommodate foreign visitors to the shop, including the many Chinese people who have visited the valley in recent years.

The Cases have also built up the e-commerce side of their business as people have become comfortable buying jewelry online.

To see the full article, visit TinyURL.com/yd5ffx3d.

— Staff report

Boogaard joins Zions Bank

Peter Boogaard has joined Zions Bank as a mortgage loan officer, responsible for business development and customer service for residential construction and mortgage lending throughout Wyoming and Teton County, Idaho. He will be based at the Jackson Hole branch at 25 S. Willow St., Suite 201.

Boogaard has more than 17 years of lending experience, including managing a large mortgage loan processing center and overseeing its processing, underwriting, compliance, and closing of mortgage loans, a press release said.

He serves as treasurer and founding board member of the Teton Spark Foundation. He previously served on the Teton County Affordable Housing Advisory Committee and as a board member of the Downtown Driggs (Idaho) Community Association.

— Staff report

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in China

Tourists are drawn to the Eiffel Tower, the White House, cute English villages, the Arch de Triomphe and Jackson Hole.

Tourists in China, that is.

But no longer, maybe, according to recent reports. The Chinese government announced April 27 that the propensity of its native developers and designers to rip off — uh, be inspired by — the man-made architecture and cultural attractions of the rest of the world must come to a stop.

No word yet on what that means for those already in place, including Jackson Hole, China, a copycat version of Jackson, Wyoming, that was built about a decade ago two hours north of Beijing. The Chinese Jackson, envisioned originally by American designer Allison Smith of Portland, Oregon, encompasses about 850 units of vaguely Western buildings stuffed with antler chandeliers, lodgepole furniture, Indian rugs, wagon wheels and all the other things that used to be real in the West but that now exist primarily in low-end decorator shops.

The Chinese just had a taste for the West — not just the Wild West, but the West as in “Western civilization” — and for years have been erecting dupes in their own country.

Bruce Simon, a Jackson real estate agent who has boosted US-China economic ties, told the News&Guide in 2014 that “they just love the look of the West.”

But it seems the people who run China have changed their minds. The recent mandate said that the “plagiarizing, imitating and copycatting” of foreign designs — yes, you Jacksonites, with your foreign cabins and such — is henceforth verboten. The copies were characterized as “fake, shoddy versions ... “large, foreign and weird” imports that are at odds with Chinese culture.

One Chinese social media poster, quoted by the BBC, recalled seeing the imitation White House in Jiangsu province and that “It burned my eyes.”

The government said new standards will ensure that Chinese buildings built in China will look Chinese.

— Mark Huffman

Your identity is safe in Wyoming

Wyomingites are among the least likely people in the U.S. to be victims of identity theft crimes, according to a recent survey.

Of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Wyoming ranked 49th in the danger of identify theft, according to Construction Coverage, a website that reviews software and insurance to aid the construction industry.

During 2019 Wyoming had a mere 319 cases of reported identity theft, a rate of 55 per 100,000. The most common type of ID crime in the state was some form of bank fraud.

Wyoming’s rate was not only near the lowest, it also was in a small minority of states that reported a decrease in ID crimes. Wyoming’s number was down 5.6% from 2018. The national average soared by 46.4%.

The per-100,000 rate in Idaho was 81, up 3%, while Montana’s rate of 67 was down 11.5% and Colorado’s rate of 110 was up 2%.

The worst numbers — not even close — came from Georgia. The per-100,000 rate there was 427, with 44,888 reports, up 88% in a year. Following in order in the top 10 were Florida, California, Texas, Nevada, Louisiana, Delaware, District of Columbia, South Carolina and Maryland.

Joining Wyoming in the least victimized states were South Dakota, Vermont, North Dakota, West Virginia, Maine, Iowa, Montana, Kentucky, Nebraska and Alaska.

The numbers came from a breakdown of statistics issued by the Federal Trade Commission.

— Mark Huffman

Contact Mark Huffman at 732-5907 or mark@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mark Huffman edits copy and occasionally writes some, too. He's been a journalist since newspapers had typewriters and darkrooms.

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