In response to the numerous questions and complaints leveled against some businesses receiving funds from the CARES Act COVID-19 business relief program managed by the Wyoming Business Council, the Cody Enterprise performed a Freedom of Information Act request to get more background information on the seven biggest recipients and their stated needs.
Brian Holiday was the highest earner in Cody, receiving $1 million through his three companies: Teachcast LLC, Eleutian Technology and Brian Holiday Inc. (Ten Sleep business address).
Holiday reported an 83% drop in gross revenue this year from the same period in 2019 for his three businesses. He said his businesses made a combined $1.7 million gross revenue last year.
Teachcast itself received $290,400 in additional federal funds including $145,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans.
His brother Kent Holiday runs WyoCapital LLC and WyoCapital Advisors LLC and received $700,000. Those companies had a 91% combined loss in gross revenue compared to their 2019 $508,745 gross revenue earnings, and also had $913,483 in operating costs this year.
Neither individual reported any direct COVID-19 related expenses, past or future.
Michael’s Tacos, owned by Vanessa Sandoval, only reported a 24% loss in revenue but incurred $311,482 coronavirus-related expenses, including $250,000 on cleaning costs. Sandoval received $551,888 from the Business Council and $73,208 through additional federal funding programs.
She did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Jorge Cardenas, owner of HomeGate Real Estate and Jewels Digital Vending Advertising, received $365,900 through three relief programs offered by the Business Council.
Cardenas’ HomeGate Real Estate was not filed as a limited liability corporation until Dec. 5, 2019, so he, like other new businesses seeking relief, were instructed by the Business Council to calculate their monthly business income for their business prior to COVID-19 and apply it to the applicable period for 2020.
Cardenas told the Business Council under this average, HomeGate made $255,000 gross revenue in 2019 but also claimed the company made $0 gross revenue from March 13 until the date he submitted his application in August.
He said by the end of the year, he will have spent $235,100 on COVID-19 related expenses. Of this total he claimed he spent $41,800 on cleaning supplies for his vending machine and real estate companies.
Jeff Wagoner, owner of Mountain View Vacations and SperaTaiga, PBC, was the fifth highest recipient in Cody, receiving $471,942. Wagoner said these companies had a combined 64% decrease in gross revenue but that total 2019 gross revenue amounted to only $20,035.
Wagoner said his Airbnb business Mountain View Vacations spent $214,426 on COVID-19 related expenses, while his business services company SperaTaiga had $280,363.
Mountain View Vacations received $10,000 in other federal funding outside the Business Council.
Tony Beaverson, owner of Big Horn Cinemas, received the fourth most in Cody at $510,000 from the Business Council. BHC, like most of the movie theater industry, was decimated by the effects the virus waged on their overall attendance numbers and the access they had to show new movies.
Beaverson reported a 97% loss in his gross revenue from 2019. He reported $253,145 in COVID-19 related expenses including $160,000 for cleaning and sanitation supplies and installments.
Beaverson also received $42,500 in PPP loans.
Lawrence Patrick of Legend Communications (Big Horn Radio Network) and Target Digital Solutions received the sixth most in Cody at $391,217.
Patrick reported a 48% loss in gross revenue from 2019 when his companies made $2.6 million. These companies did not report any COVID-19 related expenses. Patrick also received $495,643 in PPP loans.
Applicants had until Wednesday to apply for their share of $90 million in Agriculture Funds, designed for Wyoming ranchers and farmers who lost revenue due to public health orders or incurred COVID-19 related expenses. Also due on Wednesday were applications for the Endurance Funds, which include $24 million for ongoing pandemic response due to COVID-19 related losses and expenses.
The biggest receiver between Cody and Meeteetse as of Saturday for the Endurance Funds was Cassie’s Supper Club with $229,098. From the Agriculture Funds, Schlenker Ranch Inc. of Meeteetse received $250,000.