Boardwalk Shuffle

A man walks down Center Street in March, two days after the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Teton County. State and federal funds helped many businesses survive.

Businesses and nonprofits that received grants from the state's COVID-19 Business Relief Program should keep on eye on their email inboxes Friday.

A sampling of recipients will be audited in the coming weeks, and that's the day they'll find out if they are among the chosen, said the Wyoming Business Council, the agency administering the five funds in the program.

A third-party contractor, McGee, Hearne & Paiz LLC helped "establish criteria for choosing recipients of the Interruption, Relief, Mitigation, Agriculture and Endurance funds for audits,” the Business Council said in a press release.

MHP will also conduct the audits. In the emails, those in the audit pool will get instructions on what to do next.

Meanwhile, the council set up a “safe harbor” way to proactively return unused money or to opt out of the audit process by returning all of it: Go to your account at WyoBizRelief.org, navigate to the relevant business profile, click on “Voluntary Returns” and take it from there.

“Returning complete funds will remove you from the third-party audit list, and you will not need to provide any supporting documentation,” the press release said. “Funds must be returned by Nov. 30 to be removed from the audit pool. The final deadline for returning funds is Dec. 18.”

The council made a video (TinyURL.com/y6pwopsc) explaining how to return money and how to prep for an audit by getting together the documents used in applications for the funds.

The Wyoming Legislature created the Business Relief Program using money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act approved by the U.S. Congress last spring. The goal was to compensate businesses and nonprofits for losses and additional expenses related to the pandemic

“As the end-of-year federal CARES Act deadline nears, now is the time for recipients to be ready with the documentation they utilized in their calculations in the event they are audited,” Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said in the release. 

Contact Jennifer Dorsey at jennifer@jhnewsandguide.com or 732-5908.

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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