The Wyoming Business Council voted to approve all five of its Business Ready Community Grants today/Thursday. Among them is a 5 point 4 million dollar grant to fund construction of a new data and technology park in Laramie.
Council staff had initially recommended that nearly one and a half million dollars of the request take the form of a loan to the city of Laramie, but proponents argued that a full grant would help the city avoid further debt. Laramie Economic Development Corporation’s Board Chair Megan Goetz says the data and technology park will make Laramie more attractive to diverse businesses.
"They’re the green technology companies that every state in the nation is vying for. They are the companies that have the high-paying wages with the least amount of carbon imprint."
It was the Wyoming Business Council's biggest single grant in its history.
Laramie City Manager Janine Jordan says that the University of Wyoming and Laramie Economic Development Corporation formed a partnership to address the need to attract high-tech companies to the area after several companies, such as Microsoft, decided to settle in Cheyenne because of the lack of available land with infrastructure in Laramie.
"It was sort of the convergence of all of those facts that made us sit down and get super serious about knowing we have to have shovel-ready land, and shovel ready to accommodate tech users and data center users b/c those are the kinds of businesses our citizens tell us they wanna see in our community."
The Wyoming Business Council also recommended development grants for the towns of Evanston, Sundance, Rock Springs and Rawlins.