President Donald J. Trump signed a bill Friday, June 5, that will offer small businesses — including churches and ministries — that received Paycheck Protection Program loan money additional flexibility. Key features of the bill include:
- The amount of loan forgiveness will be determined without regard to a reduction in the number of full-time employees if the recipient is able to demonstrate an inability to return to the same level of business activity as the business was operating prior to February 15, 2020, due to maintenance of standards for sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer safety requirement related to COVID-19.
- The bill extends the loan repayment period to five years, extends the period to use loan proceeds from June 30 until December 31 and extends the loan forgiveness period from the date of origination to the earlier of 24 weeks from funding or December 31, 2020.
- The bill modifies the requirement that 75% of the covered loan amount must be used for payroll costs to 60% and allows up to 40% to be used to pay interest on an eligible mortgage obligation, rent obligation or covered utility payment.
- The bill allows an election to choose the original eight-week period as the loan forgiveness period.
- The loan payment deferral period is extended from not less than six months to not more than one year, including payment of principal, interest and fees. The date is based on the date on which the amount of forgiveness determined under the law is remitted to the lender.
- If a loan recipient fails to apply for forgiveness within 10 months after the last day of the covered period (24 weeks/December 31, 2020), the recipient must make payment of principal, interest and fees beginning at the onset of that 10-month mark.
- The bill allows employers to receive forgiveness of a Paycheck Protection Program loan and also defer the 6.2% employer portion of payroll taxes. Under the original CARES Act, employers were required to make an election between deferral of payroll taxes or loan forgiveness.
“We know many churches and ministries chose to avail themselves of the PPP loans,” GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins said. “This should offer some additional flexibility that could benefit the churches, ministries, nonprofit organizations and small businesses during this time of uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud Congress for making these adjustments and look forward to clarity from the Small Business Administration on how to implement this flexibility.”
Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations services for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention®.
Director of Denominational and Public Relations Services
GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention®
Roy.Hayhurst@GuideStone.org | (214) 720-2141