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Wyoming Direct Financial Incentives 2012

Wyoming's economic development, finance, and tax organizations provide a range of incentive programs to initiate new business and commercial investment. Specific programs include the Workforce Development Training Fund, industrial development revenue bonds, and the Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program.

Workforce Development Training Fund:
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services provides grants to train employees through the Workforce Development Training Fund (WDTF). There are two major types of grants provided through WDTF:
• Business Training Grants: Business Training Grants provide opportunities for Wyoming's new or existing businesses to create new jobs or to complete necessary skill upgrades to stay competitive in today's economy. Business Training Grants include grants for existing positions, Wyoming's tool for businesses to complete necessary skill upgrades to stay competitive in today's economy, and grants for new positions, Wyoming's business recruitment and expansion tool for economic development by providing incentives for new and expanding businesses.
• Pre-Hire Economic Development Grants: Pre-Hire Economic Development Grants provide pre-employment, industry-specific skill training to develop a work force for businesses or industry when there is a shortage of skilled workers.

Industrial development revenue bonds:
Cities and counties may issue tax-exempt Industrial Development Revenue Bonds to provide financing to promote economic growth within the state, and to create jobs for in-state residents. IDR Bonds can be used for land acquisition, building and equipment loans. These bond are issued with the the State of Wyoming's IRS allocation of tax-exempt bond financing. The maximum project is $600,000,000 and the business must provide a bank "letter of credit" to guarantee payment of the bonds. Interested businesses must apply for an allocation within the State's volume cap.

Other financing programs:
Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program: The Business Ready Community (BRC) Grant and Loan Program has provided $79 million in grants and loans over two years to stimulate economic development at the local level. Cities, towns, counties, and joint powers boards are eligible applicants. State and local community development organizations can assist and provide project development under contract to the primary applicant. The Wyoming Business Council may enter into contracts/cooperative agreements with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and the Northern Arapaho Tribe in order to fund infrastructure projects.

BRC grants and loans can be used for public infrastructure projects in which a business is committed to locate or expand in the community. Grants and loans may also be made for projects in which a community wants to build facilities or install infrastructure to prepare for new business development under a specific strategy or plan of action. Eligible infrastructure activities that may be funded include water, sewer, streets, telecommunications, airports, rights-of-way, land, and spec buildings. Funds can be used for amenities within a business or industrial park, landscaping, and recreational facilities.

Loan Programs:
• Wyoming Partnership Challenge Loan Program: The Business Council can partner with a local economic development organization so that combined loan proceeds assist a business third party loan recipient. The state portion of matching funds must be secured, cannot exceed $500,000 and have a maximum loan term of 10 years.
• Bridge Loan: The Wyoming Business Council can participate with a local lender on a loan to a business. The state's portion of the participation may be up to 35 percent of the project (maximum of $500,000) in a shared note and collateral position with the local lender.
• Guarantee Loan Participation: A provision of financing by the Wyoming Business Council participating with a lender that has secured a federal guarantee loan (i.e. SBA, USDA) to guarantee repayment of a loan made to a business. The maximum participation by the Business Council shall be 50 percent of the loan, or $1 million, whichever is less.
• Economic Disaster Loan: A direct loan to a business in a qualifying "economic disaster area" for the amount of actual loss incurred. Economic disaster areas must be designated by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Loans to businesses must be secured, cannot exceed $500,000 and have a repayment term of 10 years.
• Loan Guarantee Program: A provision of financing by the Wyoming Business Council in which the Business Council guarantees a portion of a bank loan made to a business.

Community Development Block Grant Program:
Under the community and economic development components of the CDBG program, funds are set aside annually for each of six economic development components grant categories. The purpose of economic development infrastructure is to provide public improvements, such as the extension of roads and water and sewer lines, to sites for the benefit of a specific business that will result in job creation. Job training grants help businesses with employee training costs, such as instructor salaries, training materials, and tuition. Planning-only grants are available to local governments and nonprofit businesses to perform feasibility studies related to economic and community development. Technical assistance grants are designed to assist for-profit businesses that conduct project planning and research. Convertible loans are changed to grants as jobs are created. Lastly, downtown development grants target CDBG assistance to fund projects in the downtown area. Generally, this includes assistance for ADA, public facilities, rehabilitation of commercial buildings, historic preservation, land acquisition, and site clearance.

The Wyoming Industrial Development Corporation (WIDC) provides financial aid for businesses. The WIDC also assists in the packaging of loans with banks and other government agencies, such as SBA 504 and 7(a), and HUD 108.

Wyoming SBIR Phase 0 Program: Unique to Wyoming, this program helps Wyoming companies develop competitive proposals by giving a $5,000 grant and matching up applicants with mentors who have previously received SBIR Phase I awards.

Managed Data Center Cost Reduction Grant Program:
Is a $2.25 Million maximum grant that can be used to reimburse accrued utility expenses for power or broadband over 3 years. In exchange for providing these reductions in costs, the applicant (a Wyoming city, county, joint powers board) shall contract with the business to receive direct benefits and indirect economic development benefits including a specific amount of capital investment from business, specific minimum payroll created by the business, the provision of discounted IT services.

The grant amount is based on how much capital investment and payroll the business will realize over five years. For each grant amount, the business must create a match of at least 125% of the grant amount in payroll and capital expenditure with the caveat that 50% of the match will be in payroll creation. Payroll must be greater than 150% of the county's median wage.

Governor's Data Center Infrastructure Grant Funds
A $15,000,000 appropriation to the Governor to assist Wyoming cities, towns and counties to build necessary public infrastructure for the recruitment and operation of data centers.

Wyoming State Contact:
Wyoming Business Council
214 West 15th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-2800
Fax: (307) 777-2838

Incentive and tax information is provided to Area Development by each state's economic development or commerce agency for information purposes only and is subject to revision at any time by the state government. Please contact the state agency directly for full requirements and offerings.

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