Donate to Just Love Campaign or 2020 Love Offering

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program FAQs

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions that church leaders have been asking about the federal CARES Act's Paycheck Protection Program. If you have a question that's not addressed here, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has released a more comprehensive FAQs document. You are also welcome to contact Barb Brower (612-618-2416) or Sheri Meister (605-360-8995).

Loan basics

The program’s funds were depleted before I got a loan. What can I do?
The Payment Protection Program was continued and funds are available again, so complete the application and contact your bank. (Check that the bank is an SBA-certified lender.)

Why should my church apply for this loan?
In these economically uncertain times, when many churches are facing or anticipating changes in giving among members, this loan can help you keep your staff employed. The payroll portion of the loan is 100 percent forgivable, so while it goes toward salaries, you can use regular gifts to continue to fund your church’s mission and ministry. In other words, the loan gives you a cushion so that you’re better positioned to absorb a decline in giving should you face one now or later on.

Applying for a loan

How do I submit the loan application after it’s filled out?

The application must be submitted to the SBA by a bank that’s an SBA-certified lender; you cannot submit your application directly to the SBA. Start by checking with your church’s bank to see if it can work with you submit your application. If it can’t, ask for a recommendation of another local bank that could work with you.

The annual conference office applied for and received a loan. Does that cover my local church?

No. Each local church must apply for its own loan. The loan that the conference office received will be used for the conference’s operating budget so that we can continue to employ conference staff and invest in conference-wide ministries in this challenging season. 

How is the annual conference handling the Paycheck Protection Program loan that it received?

The annual conference is treating the funds as a loan and recording it as a liability on our balance sheet. We are keeping the funds in a separate account and using them very judiciously. We are also tracking and documenting all of the expenses we are paying with the loan in the event that it is forgivable. But at this point, we are expecting that we may need to re-pay the loan with 1 percent interest. So, in essence, we are using it for cash flow purposes.

Loan forgiveness

What do I need to do after I get the loan?

It’s important to remember that it is a loan, not a grant. You should keep detailed records in order to be prepared to show exactly how your loan was used. We suggest depositing your loan money in a separate bank account so that you can keep a careful accounting of how it’s used.

How much of my loan will be forgiven?

  • The payroll portion of your loan will be forgiven so long as the loan proceeds are only used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the eight-week period after the loan was received and you maintain your staffing levels and wages (see next bullet point for specifics). It is anticipated that not more than 25 percent of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.
  • You must retain your current full-time equivalent for staffing; if you do not do this, the payroll portion of the your loan will not be forgiven in full. Your loan forgiveness will also be reduced if you decrease salaries and wages by more than 25 percent for any employee that made less than $100,000 (annualized) in 2019. 
  • You will owe money when your loan is due if you use the loan amount for anything other than payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities payments over the eight weeks after receiving your loan.
  • You have until June 30, 2020 to restore your full-time employment equivalency and salary levels for any reductions made between February 15, 2020 and April 26, 2020. 

How can I request loan forgiveness?

View detailed guidance on requesting loan forgiveness.

When does the eight-week period for using loan proceeds begin?

It begins on the date when the loan is disbursed and the funds are deposited into the organization’s account. Loan funds may not be used to fund expenses incurred prior to that date.

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058