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The New CARES Act and Churches

Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on March 27, the largest stimulus and relief package in U.S. history. One important provision of the CARES Act for churches and non-profits is the Payment Protection Program (PPP), which sets aside $350 billion in potentially forgiveable loans — the main purpose of which is keeping people employed.

The American Anglican Council and Canon Phil Ashey have been analyzing the program with legal counsel in order to advise our clergy and vestries. Accepting federal funds leads to concerns about infringement upon first amendment rights — however, after reviewing the provisions, the AAC’s position is that the usefulness of the PPP to keep congregations, clergy, and staff afloat for eight weeks outweighs the risks.

Canon Phil Ashey advises churches who think they may need payroll support to begin talks with your bank immediately about applying for the program, as small businesses and non-profits have already begun applying when the program opened on April 3.

Please see these very helpful articles from the AAC and their trusted legal counsel, attorney Richard Baker, to learn more about how this program applies to churches and what to do now:
From AAC: The New CARES Act for Non-Profits
From AAC: CARES Paycheck Protection Program to Cover Payroll for 8 Weeks
From Mauck & Baker attorneys: The CARES Act and its Impact on Nonprofit Organizations