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Congregations included in CARES Act benefits-Please read to see how this act impacts your congregation

Bishop Dillahunt and our accountant, Joy Hacker, received the following letter from our auditors, Apple Growth Partners, regarding the newly passed CARES Act from the Federal Government. Some of the programs within this act do apply to congregations as 501(c)3 organizations. Please read the following message and connect with your congregation's financial institution and accountant to see how you can help your congregation during this time. Please also share the attached 'Employee Rights' flyer that contains information about paid sick leave for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To our loyal clients, friends, and family:

The passage of the CARES Act and signage into law on Friday brought a reason to momentary celebrate as a nation. One of the most advantageous sections of this act is known as the Paycheck Protection Program (section 1102). Simply put, this section allows an opportunity for business owners to use SBA loan funds for items such as payroll/compensation costs, health care benefits, debt interest, rent, and utilities. It allows a chance for you, the business owner, to “repair and restore” your business. Sounds great, and it is, and as such, we are asking you to act NOW before this once in a finite lifetime program runs out of funding. As with any business decision, consideration must be given to all of the economic impacts. Some businesses may decide not to use the Paycheck Protection Program, but this determination cannot be made without learning about the program.

The CARES Act has designated $349 billion for this program. This may seem like an extraordinary amount, but considering all the businesses that will be deemed eligible, the businesses that are first in with their applications stand the best chance to benefit from this program. A true testament to the saying the early bird catches the worm. If businesses are slow to react, they stand a chance of waiting for the funding amount to be increased or worse, to be on the outside looking in. Hopefully, we have your attention at this point. The trusted business advisors at Apple Growth Partners are here to guide your business to success.


  • Determine if your business is eligible – Is your business 500 employees or less? Great. Then you pre-qualify. This also includes sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals. If your business is over 500, determine if your business is assigned a NAICS code beginning with ‘72.’ If so, you may still qualify as long as one single location does not employ over 500. In addition, certain other businesses such as franchisees may be eligible. 
  • This program runs through financial institutions - Call your banker ASAP and say you want to sign up for the Payment Protection Program. We believe many banks will have on-line portals set up where you can apply. However, we still strongly urge you to talk to your bank and make sure they are tracking everything for you. If your lender hesitates, balks, or is unfamiliar with this program, hang up and call another banker.
  • Determine your maximum loan amount – Don’t worry, our COVID-19 Response Team has you covered with a model to help you calculate this amount. In a nutshell, the maximum amount will be the lesser of (a) $10 million or (b) 250% times the average total monthly payments for payroll costs incurred during the 1-year period before the date on which the loan is made. There are some exclusions, but our team has you covered. To make this process easier, start pulling payroll reports (by month) for the last 12 months. Be sure to categorize the payments per the linked spreadsheet – click here for the CARES Act Max Loan Calculator Spreadsheet. This is important for both the application and forgiveness process.
  • Assess your potential loan forgiveness – Yes, you heard that correctly, loan forgiveness. And it keeps getting better. Loan amounts forgiven under this program are EXCLUDED from taxable income. The forgiveness period runs 8-weeks from the loan origination and is attached to specific expenses—items mentioned in the opening paragraphs. The bank handling your application will determine eligibility for forgiveness, so make sure you document how the loan proceeds were used. 
  • Terms of the loan – Eligible business may apply for this program between now and June 30th. Interest on the loan may not exceed 4%. Interest can be deferred up to 6 months. Loan length will vary but have a maximum maturity of 10 years. Unlike traditional loans, Paycheck Protection Loans will NOT require (a) any personal guarantees or (b) collateral.

Time is of the essence, which is why we are contacting you now. Again, loan applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis.  We suggest your team start now:

  • Complete the information as required on the Maximum Loan Calculator
  • Be prepared to draft a signed statement that the funds are required:
    • Due to uncertainty of the current economic conditions
    • The funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll, mortgage or lease payments, and utility payments
    • There are no other applications pending for the other loans under this program, nor has it received proceeds of a loan for these same purposes
  • Forms 941 as required by your bank
    • Note: Your bank may require additional information

Here are additional resources to getting started:

Your AGP COVID-19 Response Team


USDL Employee Rights Flyer 4.1.20




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