Many churches, nonprofits, and charities are facing unprecedented financial challenges. Religious schools and charities are seeing drastic changes in funding. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing several funding opportunities for churches and ministries during this time. Some states are also providing state economic disaster funds. These funds are aimed at ensuring the stabilization of small businesses, which include churches and ministries throughout the country.

CARES Act: Payroll Protection Program (PPP)

This act provides significant funding to small businesses across the country. Now that this law is going into effect, we wanted to provide some additional information for your church, ministry, or nonprofit. Through the CARES Act, small business funding has expanded, including providing funding for churches through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).

Download the Payroll Protection Program Details Sheet

When can I apply?

  • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other specific expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
  • Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.

Where can I apply?  You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender to determine if it is participating. Visit for a list of SBA lenders.

Who can apply?  All businesses—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors—with 500 or fewer employees may apply. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries (click HERE for additional details).

What can I use these loans for?  You should use the proceeds from this loan for:

  • Payroll costs, including benefits
  • Interest on mortgage obligations incurred before February 15, 2020
  • Rent, under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020
  • Utilities for which service began before February 15, 2020

What counts as payroll costs? Payroll costs include: 

  • Salary, wages, commissions, or tips (capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee)
  • Employee benefits, including costs for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payments required for the provisions of group health care benefits, including insurance premiums; and payment of any retirement benefits
  • State and local taxes assessed on compensation
  • For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee

    How large can my loan be? The loan can be for up to two months of your average monthly payroll costs from the last year plus an additional 25% of that amount. The amount is subject to a $10 million cap. If you are a seasonal or new business, you will use different applicable time periods for your calculation. Payroll costs will be capped at $100,000 annualized for each employee.

    How much of my loan will be forgiven? You will owe money when your loan is due if you use the loan for anything other than payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments over the eight weeks after receiving the loan. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.

    How can I request loan forgiveness? You can submit a request to the lender that is servicing the loan. The request must include documents that verify the number of full-time equivalent employees and pay rates, as well as the payments on eligible mortgage, lease, and utility obligations. You must certify that the documents are true and that you used the forgiveness amount to keep employees and make eligible mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments. The lender must make a decision on forgiveness within sixty days.

    What is my interest rate? 0.50% fixed rate.

    When do I need to start paying interest on my loan? All payments are deferred for six months; however, interest will continue to accrue over this period.

    When is my loan due? In 2 years.

    Can I pay my loan earlier than 2 years? Yes. There are no prepayment penalties or fees.

    Do I need to pledge any collateral for these loans? No. No collateral is required.

    Do I need to personally guarantee this loan? No. There is no personal guarantee requirement. ***However, if the proceeds are used for fraudulent purposes, the U.S. government will pursue criminal charges against you.***

    SBA PPP Information:

    PPP Application Form:

    What are my next steps?

    1. Contact the bank where your accounts are currently located to determine if it can begin receiving applications for SBA section 7(a) loans, specifically the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).
    2. If your bank does not have information on section 7(a) loans or you need funding sooner than available through the Payroll Protection Program, visit to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster program through the SBA website.
    3. If you are having issues finding a lender to assist you with your SBA section 7(a) loan, please contact our office, and we will assist you in finding alternatives.

    There are pros and cons with all programs like these. You need to evaluate your church, ministry, or charity's needs before you decide what to pursue. Ensuring stability for your employees is critical during this time.

    Other Funding & Information Available

    Read the full CARES Act:

    SBA Web Site Information:

    As your church or ministry determines how best to respond, remember there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you are still trying to determine how best to navigate this complicated time for your church or ministry, please contact our office, and one of our team members will gladly assist you in answering your questions. Contact our office by calling 888-233-6255 or emailing