small business

After months of refining their business plans, the Wind River Startup Challenge's five finalists pitched a panel of judges on Saturday. Each Native-owned businesses was awarded a portion of the challenge's $25,000 seed fund, but the big winners were a hair salon and a fencing company, which received $10,000 each in debt-free capital.

During the coronavirus pandemic, people are following advice to stay home. Fewer customers means less cash flow for small local businesses. That's especially true when businesses have to close altogether. And that affects the entire community, as employees are left adrift.

FitSmallBusiness.com

Wyoming is a great state for women to start a business due to economic incentives, but not so great when it comes to female-friendly business environments.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Wyoming communities are encouraging holiday shoppers to forego Black Friday and visit their local downtowns on Small Business Saturday instead. American Express initiated Small Business Saturday seven years ago to promote shopping locally during the holiday season rather than buying gifts online. Wyoming Business Council member Tom Dixon said small businesses are part of what makes Wyoming special.

eaglebronze.com

A statue cast in Wyoming is heading to Washington D.C. Eagle Bronze Foundry and Gallery in Lander will have a sculpture on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Bob Beck

Many people have ideas for small businesses, but not many of them quit their day jobs to try something unique, especially when it’s something they know little about. But that’s exactly what the Pollock family of Casper did in starting Backwards Distilling Company

“My son’s an absinth drinker and absinth is hard to come by and he and she were talking… why don’t we just make some make some… and then we all looked at each other and we all stopped and went hmmm.”

Small businesses that received help from the University of Wyoming-based Small Business Development Center brought $22.6 million into the state in 2013.The SBDC provides small business owners and people wanting to start a business with free services, including planning expansions, putting together loan requests, and marketing. State Director of the SBDC, Jill Kline, says 2013 was a good year.

“It does vary from year to year, [2013] is a little bit of an exception. We did have some larger loans that individuals received, but they all are from small businesses,” says Kline. 

Bob Beck

It has never been easy to start a small business or to keep it going.  Acquiring startup money is always one of the challenges.  In Wyoming, officials say they want to develop more businesses, but unless you are a technology company, it can be difficult to find the necessary support.  Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck reports.

BOB BECK:  Laramie Economic Development Director Dan Furphy says funding small businesses is scary for lenders.