Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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President Donald Trump indicators the Paycheck Safety Program and Well being Care Enhancement Act on the White Home in Washington April 24, 2020. (CNS picture/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Paycheck Safety Program loans to parishes didn’t meet the variety of parishes, or the dimensions of the loans, listed in some information reviews, in response to Patrick Markey, govt director of the Diocesan Fiscal Administration Convention.

A Washington Submit report mentioned 13,000 U.S. parishes had acquired PPP loans. In fact, Markey mentioned, “round one was (that) 9,000-10,000 applied, and about 6,000 had received funds. In the second round, about 5,000 applied, and of those, 3,000 said they had their applications received.”

He added, “Since it looks like about 3,000 in the first round didn’t make it — and 3,000 had their applications accepted immediately (in the second round) — I assume they were already in the pipeline.”

The numbers have been gleaned from a DFMC questionnaire despatched to parishes. Markey mentioned there can be no second questionnaire to parishes, as “they all sound like they got beaten up by the press.”

The amount of cash given to parishes has additionally been inflated in some media accounts.

“In Christianity Today, the PBS story, churches would take $300 billion,” Markey informed Catholic Information Service. “If you took all the employees of all the churches, all the synagogues, all the mosques, there’s no way; $3 billion, $4 billion, maybe. But that’s a fraction of $500 billion.” Near $700 billion was allotted in two rounds of PPP funding.

There are about 17,000 parishes in america. “Most parishes have a pastor, businessperson, someone on hand that covers all the catechesis, probably a music minister — does the liturgical work — someone who works with young people that’s part time. A lot of parishes have about five people. Some big parishes may have up to 30 people.”

However as a substitute of seeing it as employers getting their payrolls met by making use of for PPP funds, Markey mentioned, some characterised it as “this evil church getting money from the federal government.”

He added, “This was payroll protection, not church protection, not business protection. For small organizations — parishes, churches, synagogues are small organizations — they could apply for funding based on their payroll.”

Furthermore, “that money was to be used for their payroll,” Markey informed CNS. “A small percentage could be used for other things; it was clear from the law. Some could be used for rent, some could be used for utilities.”

In brief, Markey mentioned, “this money went where it was supposed to go.”

The PPP loans have been supposed for employers of fewer than 500 individuals. Nearly each home of worship in america, no matter denomination, would match that description.

However, Markey famous, a lot depends upon how “employer” is outlined.

Within the Catholic Church in america, most parishes have separate employer identification numbers, or EINs. However that isn’t true in every single place. Markey talked about one California diocese with a single EIN overlaying all parishes. That, he mentioned, put the diocese over the 500-employee threshold, rendering it ineligible to use for a PPP loan.

A parish faculty may have its personal EIN, or it may be tied to the parish’s EIN, Markey mentioned. Different entities — Catholic Charities associates, for instance — may have their very own EIN, however may even have too many staff to qualify for PPP loans based mostly on the scope of their providers.

Markey mentioned the DFMC questionnaire didn’t ask what number of staff have been saved from furloughs or layoffs by the PPP loans.


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