The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) Board of Directors recommended four Business Ready Community grant and loan funding requests during its meeting in Cheyenne on Feb. 23.

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WBC CEO Josh Dorrell said on the approved projects:

"This isn't going to happen overnight. Some of the things are going to happen very, very rapidly, but this is a model and a framework that we can use to help people understand how we all fit together in economic development," Dorrell said. "It extends beyond just our agency. Economic development is not just one agency in the state, it's a number of agencies, a number of entities working together in partnership. And our team in 2022 is going to be working on how to get to the top of the triangle and how to make the biggest impact for the state that we can."

One of the requests involved the Lander asking for $889,105 in a community readiness grant to develop a 3.94-acre site to house a future assisted living facility, which is expected to be ready in the fall of 2023 and is anticipated to create 20 to 25 new jobs.

The board of directors approved the request as long as there was a letter of intent for full funding of the facility construction from the United States Department of Agriculture or other financing institution.

The three other applications were all approved unanimously by the board which included a proposed Heritage Park in Newcastle, an economic plan for Rawlins, and the possibility of a high-tech park in Sheridan.

The request from Newcastle includes an $18,750 planning grant on a proposed Heritage Park which would host a farmers market, community events, and a Veterans Memorial located at 1401 Washington Boulevard, with a total project cost of $25,000.

The Rawlins request includes a $50,000 planning grant for a five-year economic plan which includes a needs assessment, the creation of a citizen-driven advisory panel, and monthly meeting and social media updates, with a total project cost of $66,667.

The request from Sheridan included a $20,000 planning grant to evaluate potential sites for a High-Tech Park concept, including the city or county of Sheridan, Sheridan College, Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce, or private landowners, with the total project costing $26,500.

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