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Wyoming communities will soon see new investments in businesses and jobs thanks to a nonprofit that plans to reserve a portion of its $65 million New Markets Tax Credit award for the state.

Montana and Idaho Community Development Corporation (MICDC) will invest about $12 million in Wyoming projects in hopes of improving the state’s economy. The nonprofit expanded into Wyoming this past July and will use the first of its U.S. Treasury award for contributions to Wyoming businesses and organizations.

Logo is courtesy of the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition

You may have heard a little about Blockchain, but if some people in Wyoming have their way, you will learn a lot about it. Because according to these experts, legislation that Wyoming lawmakers are considering this year could open the floodgates for Blockchain businesses. Some lawmakers are comparing it to the internet boom of the 1990’s and say it could completely change Wyoming’s economic future.

A Brooklyn-based design company is moving its inventory and order fulfillment hub to Pinedale. Artist Stephanie Housley creates embroidered home décor under the brand name Coral and Tusk, which is sold around the world. 

About a year and a half ago, she and her husband decided to move from Brooklyn to the western part of Wyoming. Housley said the landscapes she has visited in the state inspired many of her designs. 

Bob Beck

Last year the governor set up the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming Council, better known as ENDOW.

After a few months of touring the state and meetings, ENDOW has developed a list of recommendations to start setting the stage for diversifying the economy. Greg Hill is the Chairman of Endow and he tells Bob Beck why ENDOW is different from past economic development efforts. 

Tony Webster from Portland, OR

Rocky Mountain Power is one of many around the country turning up their investment in wind.


Bright Agrotech;

Seven years after getting its start in a storage unit in Laramie, the company Bright Agrotech is merging with a San Francisco firm.

Bright’s founders developed a technology that allows people to grow food vertically, on indoor towers or exterior walls. Their hydroponic systems nourish plants using nutrient solutions instead of soil. They provide education and equipment to farmers around the world who are interested in this kind of production.

Uber has been operating in the state for just over a month now. Their launch followed Governor Matt Mead’s signing of a bill to legally authorize ride-sharing companies in Wyoming. However, while some consumers have been taking advantage of the service, others are less excited.

Branden French was one of the very first drivers to start working for Uber in March. Right now, he’s a university student in Laramie. He said Mead signed the bill on a Friday, and he was on the road that weekend.

The City of Laramie has hired a consultant to convince shops and restaurants to set up storefronts there.

City Manager Janine Jordan said in a press release that even though Laramie has a thriving downtown, the community has room for more retailers, especially when she compares it to other college towns.

After accepting a $15 million dollar loan from the State of Wyoming, Standard Alcohol Inc. is continuing plans for a new facility at Swan Ranch, outside of Cheyenne. The loan is set to be paid back in twenty years, while the rest of the funding for the $76 million dollar plant will come from private investments.

The company will use natural gas, coal, and CO2 to create a gasoline additive that company vice president Robert Johns says is high value.

Wyoming’s economy is the most sluggish in the nation, according to a report released by Bloomberg in December. That ranking came from analysis of employment, income, stock and home prices, as well as late mortgage payments around the nation. Bloomberg analysts attributed the state’s poor score to the recent energy downturn, as well as the fact that Wyoming has no urban center, where job growth tends to accelerate.

Wyoming Business Alliance

Around 500 people will come together at the Little America Hotel in Cheyenne November 10 and 11 for the 2016 Governor’s Business Forum.

The theme this year is Innovation and Resilience for the Future. Wyoming Business Alliance president Bill Schilling joined Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard for a preview of the event.

Caroline Ballard

This week, the New American Economy issued a report on the economic impact of immigrants in every state, highlighting the role immigrants play as entrepreneurs. One place where immigrants are starting new companies in Wyoming is the Wyoming Technology Business Center – a business incubator for start-ups.

David Swift


When someone gets sick, it can be difficult to know what to do for them. Should you bring flowers, food, a card? Jackson resident Kathleen Neiley is providing an answer to that question and employing rural women around the state with her new business Full Circle.

Quilts. The company creates custom, group funded t-shirt quilts for cancer patients, and its workforce will be made up of women in rural areas of Wyoming. Neiley told Wyoming Public Radio’s Caroline Ballard the idea came from her own experiences.

The Modern West 11: Eats And Drinks

May 16, 2016
Bob Beck

This month we’re putting specialty coffee, locally distilled spirits, and goat meat on the menu. Hear what’s happening in the Western kitchen. 

The state of Wyoming was amongst the locations revealed in the data leak of the Panama Papers, that involved the large offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The leak included 11.5 million confidential files and pointed to millionaires and others that may be hiding their money in Wyoming based shell companies.

Miles Bryan


H+S Coffee Head Roaster Coulter Sunderman has some advice for how you should consume your morning cup of coffee: remember to slurp.

“You want to slurp,” Sunderman says before a coffee tasting at H+S’s space in downtown Laramie. “It aerates the coffee across your tongue.”

The tasting would be familiar to anyone who's been to a wine tasting: the gathered coffee fans sample six unmarked cups, and toss out tasting notes like “cashew,” “peanut butter,” and “cola.”

Miles Bryan

Let’s start in 2011, when Wyoming was rocked by an investigation from the national news agency Reuters entitled, A Little House on the Secrets on the Great Plains.

“When you think of traditional secrecy and tax havens you most likely think of Switzerland, and the Caribbean,” begins the Reuters reporter in the accompanying video. She’s standing under the “Welcome to Wyoming” sign on I-80 outside of Cheyenne.

Wikipedia Creative Commons

Wyoming continues to rank number one in the nation in taxes for business. That’s from a report released by the Tax Foundation on Tuesday. The state’s lack of corporate and individual income tax has kept in in first place since 2012.

Wyoming Director Tony Gagliardi is with the National Federation of Independent Business’. He says the state deserves only a cautious congratulation since some of Wyoming’s taxes are going up. For instance, fuel taxes have increased and that could hurt farmers and hauling companies.

Wyoming teen Megan Grassell was listed as one Time’s 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014 this week, joining the ranks of Malia Obama and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai. She spoke with Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard about her success.

With the help of a kickstarter campaign that raised $42-thousand dollars, Grassell created her own company. Yellowberry makes training bras for pre-teen and teenage girls. Grassell, 19, was inspired after taking her younger sister shopping for her first bra. All of the training bras she tried on were padded and mature-looking. 

Sushiesque via Flickr

A new study claims that Wyoming is missing out on millions of dollars of lost business by not legalizing same sex marriage.

The study comes from the Williams Institute, a think tank housed at the University of California Los Angeles. It claims that Wyoming would see over two million dollars in new revenues in the first few years after gay marriage is legalized.

Energy Information Administration

According to a recent analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, mining occupied approximately 35 percent of Wyoming’s GDP in 2013, up from around 29 percent in 2003. That makes Wyoming the most mining-dependent state in the country.

The increase comes despite calls from the Wyoming Business Council to diversify the state’s industries.

Wyoming Principal Economist Jim Robinson said that after concentrating on energy for so long, growth in areas outside energy is slow.


WyoLotto released its list of the approved retailers on Tuesday. Starting August 24th, people won’t have to travel across state lines to buy tickets. Convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, bars and restaurants across the state will sell Powerball and MegaMillions Tickets, making it the 44th state to do so.

Sean Ellis via Flickr

A Data Center celebrated the grand opening of its massive expansion Wednesday in Cheyenne.

Green House spokesperson Wendy Fox says Wyoming’s cool climate allows the data center to regulate its temperature only using the outside air.

Green House spokesperson Wendy Fox says Wyoming’s cool climate makes it uniquely suited to the data center’s needs.

Courtesy: WBT Open Innovation Marketplace

An event that connects businesses with researchers from federal labs and Universities is coming to Denver for the first time next month. The one-day event, called WBT's Open Innovation Forum, aims to show small to mid-size companies and advanced manufacturers in the West how to partner with federal labs.

Amanda Radovic, the CEO of WBT's Innovation Marketplace, said these partnerships can lead to scientific innovation.  

Microsoft plans to expand its data center operations in Wyoming. Microsoft opened a data center outside of Cheyenne last year…and this spring plans to grow it with a $274 million addition. Governor Matt Mead met the news with excitement. He says he’s made growing the Wyoming technology sector a priority and sees the expansion as a good sign.

Wyoming is one of the easiest places in the country to make money. That’s according to a report by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative advocacy nonprofit.

The report ranks states based on things like labor and tax policies. Report author Jonathan Williams says those factors can help predict job creation and other forms of economic growth.

“We find that … states that value competitiveness, lower taxes, and reasonable regulations are the states that are growing today,” Williams said.

The Wyoming Senate has voted 26 to 4 to approve a bill that will help recruit a company to Cody and establish a loan program to recruit other large businesses.  

Roughly $25 million in state loans will be used to help the Lannett Company expand a lab in Cody, but in an effort to avoid violating a constitutional provision against benefiting a single entity, the Senate broadened the bill with a series of amendments.  

This concerned Lander Republican Cale Case, who opposed the bill.


The Wyoming Lottery Corporation has unveiled its logo.  It’s called Yolo the Jackpot-a lope.  The logo features a yellow Jackalope above the wording “WyoLotto.”

Lottery C-E-O Jon Clontz said that deciding on a design was tough, but they are excited with what they came up with.

“I know that the board was interested in getting something that aligned with the culture of the state of Wyoming and also stood out as something unique.”

Clontz add that things are moving along.             

Rebecca Huntington

We've all heard stories about businesses that start in a garage or on the back of a cocktail napkin. But it takes a lot more than a great idea and some elbow grease to build a business from scratch. So a new Jackson program, called the Start-Up Institute, is running a business boot camp for entrepreneurs. Wyoming Public Radio's Rebecca Huntington has more. 

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: This is what you might consider finals for sixteen students completing Jackson's first-ever Start-Up Institute.

KELLIE HOTEMA: I'm too tired to be nervous.

Governor Matt Mead says Wyoming is seeing growth and success among businesses in the state.

During the governor’s business forum in Cheyenne he noted that Wyoming ranks high in a number of pro-business categories and that leads to growth in a variety of business sectors.  He says it will only get better.

“We have a great future ahead of us,” Mead said. “And it is not because we do everything right every day, it is because a common commitment and love for Wyoming and a care for the citizens and families in Wyoming to do everything as well as possible.”