We are truly living in an unprecedented time. We have received many calls at our office with questions about the various government stimulus programs that Congress recently passed.
Our ministry is here to point you towards resources for navigating these challenging times. Because we are not a law firm, The Fellowship Network is not permitted to dispense legal advice or apply for assistance on your behalf. We encourage you to contact your local bank, accountant, and attorney for information and assistance.
What assistance is available?
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) includes a suite of financial instruments designed to incentivize employment during the health crisis and discourage short-term or permanent layoffs.
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers assistance to businesses and non-profits who would be otherwise forced to lay off staff as a result of COVID-19 shelter-in-place directives.
- The PPP program grants up to two-and-a-half months of payroll cashflow as a bridge loan to qualifying institutions. The loan will be forgiven in full if the recipient retains their staff (plus other qualifications) through the required time period.
Who is giving out the money?
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) operates the program on behalf of the Federal Government.
- Individual loans are awarded through SBA-member private banks and credit unions. Because of this, you must apply directly through your bank using their specific application process.
Who is eligible for the money?
- Businesses, non-profits, churches, and schools with fewer than 500 employees.
- In some cases, the self-employed and private contractors qualify for assistance.
- Law firms, associations, and consultants are not permitted to apply on behalf of their clients.
If your church, non-profit organization, or school needs assistance, we recommend that you contact your local SBA-member lender and begin the process of applying for the PPP program. Several Fellowship members have already started the process with their local banks. We are doing our best to monitor their experiences and will pass on what we learn to you.
- (Slide presentation) “CARES Act for churches and schools” – Vanderblomen consulting group: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1iq6CTIqS5VZU6jRRjVwtnhVaw2tLS5i-5uzQwEntTj4/
- (PDF) SBA PPP application form: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf
- (PDF) SBA statement on Faith-Based organizations and PPP: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/SBA%20Faith-Based%20FAQ%20Final.pdf
Finally, let me offer these words of encouragement. 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. We have a promise found in Proverbs 3:5-6 that if we trust in the Lord with all our hearts, not to lean on our (or the world’s) understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge Him, then He WILL direct our paths.
Even in difficult times, we know that God has a plan and will lead us if we put our total faith and trust in Him. Our TFN leadership team is praying for each of you: all pastors, churches, missionaries, organizations, chaplains, and marketplace ministers, plus your families and the communities that you serve.
Rev. Steve Biffle
The Fellowship Network.