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Wyoming Direct Financial Incentives 2010

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, Business Training Grants, and Pre-Hire Economic Development Grants.

Feb/Mar 10
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 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, and are interest exempt from federal income taxes.

Under current U.S. Treasury Department regulations, manufacturing projects in the United States can be financed with below market interest rates through the use of tax-exempt industrial development revenue bonds (IDR Bonds). These are bonds issued in the name of a city, county, or state authority, which gives them their tax-exempt status (the issuing authority - city, county or state authority - is NOT liable for payment performance on the bonds). Tax-exempt means that the purchaser of the bonds pays no federal income taxes on the interest they receive for investing in the bonds. The bonds function just like a mortgage on a building or a secured loan on a piece of equipment. Each state receives an annual private activity bond allocation from the IRS. Applicants must complete the allocation request and process for governor's approval.

Other financing programs:
Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program: The Business Ready Community (BRC) Grant and Loan Program will provide $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.

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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