On March 19th, I began to pray for the inclusion of Christian organizations in the bill as it made its way through the Senate. Senators Tim Scott, James Langford, and Marco Rubio worked to include “Faith-Based Organizations” in the Paycheck Protection Program. However, when the bill came out and the SBA began taking applications, many Christian organizations were fearful of government assistance for many reasons.
There are four reasons I heard from faith-based organizations that decided to decline these government funds. However, the government has since addressed these concerns, and I want to make sure you realize that $120B is available through June 30, 2020.
1. Worried about the separation between church and state.
Christian organizations expressed to me they were worried about if they took government funds, then the government would use that to direct or dictate changes to their church, Christian School, or non-profit.
US Treasury clarified their stance on this issue by stating the following:
- All loans guaranteed by the SBA pursuant to the CARES Act will be made consistent with constitutional, statutory, and regulatory protections for religious liberty, including the First Amendment to the Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb–1 and bb–3, and SBA regulation at 13 CFR 113.3–1h, which provides that nothing in SBA nondiscrimination regulations shall apply to a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society with respect to the membership or the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution or society of its religious activities.”
- “Nothing in [SBA nondiscrimination regulations] shall apply to a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society with respect to the membership or the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution or society of its religious activities.”
2. Worried about the good faith certification that borrowers would need to sign to prove that these funds were “necessary” for the organization.
This was clarified on April 3, 2020.
Question #46: How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request?
Answer: When submitting a PPP application, all borrowers must certify in good faith that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” SBA, in consultation with the Department of Treasury, has determined that the following safe harbor will apply to SBA’s review of PPP loan with respect to this issue: Any borrower that, together with its affiliates, received PPP loans with an original principal amount of less than $2M will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith.
You can read more frequently asked questions here.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sutton Turner