SBA Wyoming District Office Newsletter - Mar. 2020

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Wyoming District Office  - March 2020

u s small business administration

SBA Regional Administrator Co-Leads Opportunity Zone Panel


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – U.S. Small Business Administration Region Eight Administrator Dan Nordberg co-led a panel of government and local economic development leaders on Feb. 26 to discuss Wyoming’s Opportunity Zones at the 2020 Wyoming Economic Development Association Winter Conference in Cheyenne.

The panel, which featured senior leaders from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Economic Development Administration and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), spoke to each agency’s role in supporting the communities and small businesses located in Wyoming’s 25 Opportunity Zones.

“The SBA has been charged with supporting small businesses in undercapitalized communities, and I’m especially encouraged by this President’s efforts to steer more private sector investment into more than 8,700 of those communities through Opportunity Zones,” Nordberg said. “These critically important investments will help more low-income Americans climb the economic ladder and realize the American Dream.”

Established by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Opportunity Zones are economically distressed communities, defined by individual census tract, nominated by America’s governors, and certified by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury via his delegation of that authority to the Internal Revenue Service. Under certain conditions, new investments in Opportunity Zones may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

“This session is the foundational piece of the Wyoming Opportunity Zone Outreach Plan, an important local component of SBA’s strategy as part of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council,” said SBA Wyoming District Director Amy Lea. “The development of this plan was led by Wyoming SBDC network State Director Jill Kline, and it was truly a collaborative effort with the Wyoming Business Council, the Wyoming Women’s Business Center and the SBA.”

“This outreach plan will bring educational events and workshops to towns and cities across the state, and we’re excited help small business owners, chambers of commerce and economic developers better understand how Opportunity Zones can benefit themselves and their communities,” added Lea.

There are 25 Opportunity Zones in Wyoming, many of which have experienced a lack of investment for decades. The Opportunity Zones initiative is an incentive designed to spur private and public investment in America’s underserved communities.

Small firms located in Opportunity Zones that are interested in doing business with the federal government could also benefit from the program, Nordberg said.

“The federal government is the largest procurer of goods in the world, and that’s where the SBA, the Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) – including the Procurement Technical Assistance Center – and others can get involved to help small businesses,” Nordberg added. “Federal contracting assistance for businesses in Opportunity Zones is available, and we’re always willing to do what we can to help small businesses succeed in that space.”

The panel also featured Sarah Crosthwaite, an Economic Development Specialist with the City of Fort Morgan, Colo., who spoke about a multi-family housing development case study. By reducing regulatory burdens, using fee waivers and implementing public infrastructure improvements, Crosthwaite says Fort Morgan was able to attract private investment for the Opportunity Zone project.

“Opportunity Zones don't make a bad deal good, but they do 'sweeten the pot' and help attract investment. They did that for us," Crosthwaite said.

After presenting and reviewing the Fort Morgan case study, the panel spent the rest of the session answering questions from local Wyoming economic developers.

“It was good to interact and see firsthand the passion Wyoming’s economic developers have for their community’s success,” Nordberg said. “Wyoming runs on small business, and the SBA and our sister agencies are always willing to help however we can.”

For more information on Wyoming’s Opportunity Zones and how they might benefit you or your business, please click the "Learn More" button below or call the SBA Wyoming District Office at (307) 261-6500.

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Additional Headlines


Wyoming Biz Tip (Courtesy of the Wyoming SBDC Network): Estate Planning for Business Owners

Guest Author: Jessica Schneider

Successful businesses are the result of years of hard work, determination, and sacrifice by business owners and their families.  As such, most business owners want to preserve the product of their hard work for the benefit of their families and loved ones after they’re gone.  They also want to ensure their business does not falter or fail after their retirement or death, if the business can remain viable.  Proper estate planning can help achieve both goals.

Estate Planning

In its simplest form, estate planning is the process of executing documents and designating agents to manage and transfer an individual’s assets in the event of their incapacity or death.  Common estate planning documents include wills, trusts, financial powers of attorney, and health care powers of attorney.  For business owners, the estate planning process should also include analyzing and taking appropriate action regarding the individual’s business interest(s).


The term “probate” refers to a process that occurs after the death of an individual.  The “probate process” typically involves a deceased individual’s agent, known as a personal representative or executor, filing a lawsuit to be granted court authority to gather and distribute the deceased individual’s assets, including the individual’s business assets.  The probate process can often be very expensive and time consuming.  As such, most estate plans include documents and actions that seek to avoid probate.

Transitioning Business Ownership

Typically, an individual’s business interest(s) can be transferred to another person or entity, either during life or at death.  Proper estate planning can utilize the transferability of an ownership interest to: (1) avoid probate; (2) transfer ownership to the owner’s family or others (for example, a key employee); (3) account for the financial needs of the owner during his or her life; (4) provide for the continued operation and management of the business; and (5) designate who will benefit from the business interest, or the proceeds of the ownership interest if the interest or business is liquidated, in the event of the owner’s incapacity or death.

Tax Consequences

The sale or transfer of a business interest can generate unwanted tax consequences, such as capital gains or losses and unexpected income.  A proper estate plan can account for such tax consequences and seek to limit them.

Help with Estate Planning for Business Owners

If you would like to learn more about estate planning for business owners, contact your local Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network advisor for no-cost, confidential assistance.

You may also want to join our upcoming webinar series, Estate Planning for the Small Business Owner, on March 5, 2020 where we will address these issues in more detail.

Jessica Schneider is an attorney with Hirst Applegate, LLP Cheyenne office. Her practice focuses on estate planning, estate administration, trust administration, creditor’s rights, banking real estate and business law. Jessica graduated from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2008.

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Disasters happen, be prepared with an emergency plan

SBA to Host Disaster Assistance Webinar

Disaster assistance experts from the U.S. Small Business Administration Field Operation Center – West will host this FREE webinar on Mar. 31, 2020.

An estimated 25% of businesses don’t open again after a major disaster, according to the Institute of Business and Home Safety. Protect your small business by identifying risks relevant to your location both natural and man-made. Smart planning can help you keep your business running if disaster strikes.

Potential flooding is a genuine concern in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota in 2020. Participate in this webinar to find out the right steps to prevent and prepare for disaster, and where to get aid if disaster strikes.


Upcoming Events

Mar. 12-13: Start Your Own Business Workshop (Riverton/Lander), Featuring an Opportunity Zone Overview

Entrepreneurs looking to start their own business can learn about everything that is required during upcoming Start Your Own Business Workshops in Riverton and Lander, WY. Presented by the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, Riverton Chamber of Commerce, County10 and Central Wyoming College – Lander, these no-cost events will provide a basic overview of starting a business in our state. The workshops will take place in Riverton on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and in Lander on Friday, March 13, 2020 from 11 am to 1 pm at Central Wyoming College – Lander.

SBA representatives will also provide an overview on Wyoming’s Opportunity Zones, an investment program designed to help bolster economic vitality in low-income or otherwise disadvantaged communities. Learn more here

Mar. 13: Starting a Business with $5K or Less Workshop, Featuring an Opportunity Zone Overview

Ready to retire but don’t want to quit working altogether? Need a flexible “side-gig” to occupy some of your time? Come and network with like-minded boomers and discover your next adventure. Drop in to enjoy a light morning snack and learn about starting your business for under $5000. Presented by Debbie Gorski of the Wyoming Women’s Business Center, in partnership with L2B (Library to Business), a service of Laramie County Library System. 

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, this is an Opportunity Zone Educational Training event. SBA representatives will provide an overview on Wyoming’s Opportunity Zones, an investment program designed to help bolster economic vitality in low-income or otherwise disadvantaged communities. Register here.

Mar. 25: GRO-Biz Conference (Cheyenne)

The GRO-Biz Conference is Wyoming’s premier government contracting event. Every year, federal, state and local government agencies pay millions of dollars to small businesses in Wyoming. You may be surprised at the types of products and services that are being sought. Whether you’re new to the process or your business has been selling to the government for years, there’s plenty to learn at this year’s gathering.

The Wyoming SBDC Network has a helpful guide to help prepare you for the conference. Learn more and register here.  

Mar. 25: Entrepreneurship is a Marathon Workshop - Presented by Cheyenne SCORE

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind = Healthy Business is the theme for this 3-hour workshop. Subject matter experts will coach you to create and sustain the mental and physical health you need as an entrepreneur through the marathon that is starting and growing a healthy business. Visit vendor booths at the workshop, network, share experiences, learn from your peers, have fun! $35. Register and learn more here