Understanding the Payroll Protection Program

Why the Catholic Church Received Federal Loans?

When the COVID-19 crisis abruptly shut down small businesses across the country, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist individuals and businesses who’d experienced a financial impact. Part of the act included a payroll protection program (PPP) designed to help small businesses continue to pay their employees. The program is managed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), which requires the money to be used for employee compensation and other restricted uses.

Among the businesses that received aid were several non-profit organizations, which employ large numbers of people across the country, such as symphony orchestras, museums, universities and churches. The majority of Catholic parishes (approximately 13,000 out of 17,000 in the U.S.) applied for the government’s payroll protection program, and nearly 10,000 received funds that enabled them to continue to pay employees when limited funds were coming in from donations.

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