By now we’ve all at least heard of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed through congress and became law last week. Its purpose is to provide financial assistance to 501-C3’s, non-profits, and small businesses under 500 employees. Churches have intentionally been included in this Act. The goal is to keep finances in the bank accounts of American organizations and the employees within.
Within the Act is a specific provision called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which provides funding for 2.5 months of an organization’s average monthly payroll (full-time and part-time), including benefits, as a forgivable loan, so long as the org workforce remains the same in 2020 as it was in 2019. (Read this for more details.)
As a pastor like me, this directly translates into 2.5 months of salary for myself and the other paid staff at the church I serve.
Even though there is $350 billion provided, this only represents 36% of the organizations and churches across our country who actually need access to financial stability in the midst of the current pandemic. As a result, to take advantage of this opportunity churches must act quickly. Nearly 64% of churches and organizations will not get access to this funding the first time around.
On April 1, SDPC presented a video conference (slide deck here) outlining 5 major points for the PPP. You should also view the Information Sheet which provides more details. We’ve been privy to a number of conferences and briefings regarding the Act and its provisions, been in contact with individuals from the highest levels of the federal administration, to those who helped write the bill and advocated for churches to be included, so we are petitioning you to regard this information as valid and seek access to this opportunity. (more info here in the “CARES Act section”)
To get started:
- Complete the application. Also, view the Information Sheet which provides more details. It’s remarkably short but will require us to calculate the totals salaries and compensation for all employees of your church (full-time and part-time). The application doesn’t ask for the details, only the totals, however, I suggest, as we are doing, keeping a backup record of your calculations.
- The application will need to be turned into a bank. Check to see if our current local bank is participating in the program. (Banks get paid from aiding organizations, too.) This is an excellent time to aid smaller, local African American owned banks, too, if they are participating. If they are not participating, visit the www.sba.gov site to find a participating financial institution.
I highly suggest taking the time today to talk with your church staff, complete the documentation, and have them ready for submittal so they can be submitted tomorrow.
Blessings and hope to us all through this pandemic.
(For more information visit the SDPC Coronavirus Resource Center and view the “CARES Act section”