SBA clarifies eligibility of faith-based organizations to participate in paycheck protection and economic injury disaster loan programs

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WASHINGTON – Jovita Carranza, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced that SBA issued guidance clarifying that all faith-based organizations impacted by the coronavirus are eligible to participate in the paycheck protection program and the economic injury disaster loan program, without restrictions based on their religious identity or activities, to the extent they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in the CARES Act that was passed by Congress, signed into law by President Donald Trump and implemented by the Paycheck Protection Act Interim Final Rule.

“Following the passage of the emergency economic relief assistance, the administration and Congress acted to ensure that small businesses and nonprofits alike have access to critical funds to keep their workers paid and employed,” Carranza said. “Faith-based organizations have always provided critical social services for people in need, and SBA will make clear that these organizations may access this emergency capital.”

The paycheck protection program is designed to keep small business workers employed and provide small businesses with capital through the nation’s banks and other lending institutions, with support from the SBA. The paycheck protection program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years. SBA will forgive the portion of loan proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated operating expenses for up to eight weeks provided at least 75% of loan proceeds are used for payroll costs.

The economic injury disaster Loan program provides qualifying small businesses and nonprofits with working capital up to $2 million with low interest rates and terms extending up to 30 years.

“While every American is being affected by COVID-19, the impact of this pandemic is particularly hurting our schools and places of worship and disproportionately impacting the underrepresented communities, the sick, the elderly and the lower income,” Carranza said. “It’s vitally important that organizations focused on delivering critical social services and meeting community needs remain viable, particularly during this economically challenging time.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small-business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit https://www.sba.gov.

Submitted by Small Business Administration.