For many Americans, the current state of the economy is creating real financial challenges and concerns. However, the federal government’s recently enacted CARES Act is intended to provide some financial relief to families and business owners (including non profits) who may be struggling to manage their finances. Silverdale Lutheran Church, along with many other churches, applied for and received a loan that will become a free grant ($107,000.00) used for Payroll, Utilities, and Mortgage interest.
Q & A regarding SLC’s application and reception of the Payroll Protection Program loan/grant
Who made the decision to apply?
- Your Church Trustees/Council made the decision to go ahead with the application. Our leadership spent many hours researching and studying the information on this program and we received and continute to receive significant information and support from our Synod and the ELCA.
Why did we apply?
- The purpose of this legislation is to protect employees of small businesses including Non-Profit organizations. We wanted to do all we can to protect our staff.
- Although when we applied our finances were beginning to improve compared to the first two months of the year, we did not, nor do we now know, how severely this COVID-19 pandemic will affect SLC and our ability to keep our staff employed in the months and even year ahead.
- All ELCA Congregations of which we are aware have applied and most have received the PPP. Moreover, congregations in our community large and small have applied and received these funds.
How will this money be used?
- The PPP program is very clear on how this loan/grant is to be used. In short, it must be used only for payroll, utilities, and mortgage interest and if applied correctly, the loan becomes a grant.
Since our financial picture is healthy now without the grant/loan, why are we not returning the money?
- First, although we are significantly “in the black” as of the end of April, much of this has come from very generous one-time offerings, above people’s normal giving. Moreover, we should remember we finished close to $20,000 behind last year. We have now made up that shortfall.
- We must use all the money in the first 8 weeks for it to be a grant and not a loan. The offerings we receive over this time period that are not used because of the use of the grant, will be looked at as a kind of insurance policy for the future. Moreover, toward the end of the year, we may have the opportunity to use some of a surplus to help those in need in our congregation and community.
How should the reception of the PPP grant affect my giving?
- Our giving is first and foremost a way we return to God the “first fruits” of God’s provision in our lives. We hope the reception of this loan will not affect that motivation for giving.
- We don’t know what the future holds and, as always, your gifts to your congregation will be used in accord to the budget SLC has passed. It is always good to have healthy reserves.
Synopsis of the timeline for this decision
- January/February 2020 showed a shortfall of close to $20,000
- Stewardship Campaign – Pledge Drive Begun
- COVID-19 Crisis hits with shutdowns and shelter in place
- Giving starts to improve
- PPA passes and Trustees & Council decide to apply
- Very good response to pledge drive and many special offerings move us to a solid position financially
- We receive the PPP Grant/Loan
- We begin to use the grant for allowable payroll, utilities, and mortgage interest expenses
Questions: Contact David Soine, Council President