WYOMING — The Wyoming Business Council will hold two half-hour Q&A webinars for businesses and nonprofits to ask any pre-launch questions in advance of applications opening for COVID-19 Business Relief and Mitigation funding.

The webinars are scheduled for Monday, Aug. 3 at 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 a.m. Go online to register or to find more information about applying. Applications for both relief programs open on the website Tuesday after 10 a.m.

Per legislation crafted earlier this year, the Relief Fund and Mitigation Fund make an additional $225 million available to Wyoming businesses and nonprofits that have experienced hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, half of these funds will be available after Tuesday for businesses and nonprofits that have already incurred COVID-19 related losses or expenses. The remaining funds will be disbursed at a later date to ensure funding is available to assist entities that anticipate losses and expenses later in the year.

“We understand the difficulties seasonal businesses like agriculture, tourism, and many retail stores may have in calculating losses and expenses right now as they are still in the midst of their typical season,” Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell said. “For that reason, we have set aside half the funding in the Relief Fund and Mitigation Fund to help entities that may accrue additional losses or expenses later this year.”

The Business Council encourages applicants to look at their business closely as well as reach out to their accountant, lender, or other business advisors to determine when the best time to apply might be. Eligible entities are only able to apply once for these programs.

The Relief Fund has a total of $50 million set aside for businesses and nonprofits required to close by public health order and an additional $125 million available to cover COVID-19 related expenses and direct or indirect losses due to public health orders. Awards up to $300,000 are available. Businesses must employ 100 or fewer people. Eligible nonprofits include 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(12) and 501(c)(19) with at least one paid full-time employee and no more than 50 percent of time spent on lobbying.

The Mitigation Fund reimburses all Wyoming businesses and nonprofits that have incurred employee and customer health and safety expenses that were a direct impact of COVID-19. The Mitigation Fund has a total of $50 million available with awards up to $500,000.