Federal CARES Act Payroll Protection Program Update

Since its passage on March 27, information regarding the Payroll Protection Program of the Federal CARES Act has been evolving and updating on at least a daily basis. This program offers loans through the Small Business Association (SBA) that may be forgiven if the borrower maintains specific workforce criteria. In recent days, the SBA has clarified some details of the Payroll Protection Plan; click here to read. They have also prepared an FAQ Sheet for Faith-Based Organizations. Presbytery of West Virginia Financial Administrator/Treasurer Rocky Poole is available as a resource to congregations but advises that churches interested in more detail, call their local bank for specific guidance.

The unsecured loans of the Payroll Protection Program do not require Presbytery approval, but churches are asked to notify Presbytery if they apply and keep Presbytery apprised of the loan’s progress by emailing Rocky Poole (treasurer@wvpresbytery.org), Maureen Wright (statedclerk@wvpresbytery.org) and/or Ed Thompson (wvgeneralpresbyter@wvpresbytery.org).

Moderators and Clerks of Session are reminded that the Session must approve any decision to apply for a Payroll Protection Program loan; if the church has Trustees, the Trustees also need to approve the application.

As part of the application process, churches will be asked to provide Articles of Incorporation. West Virginia churches are prohibited in the West Virginia Constitution from incorporating. Churches can provide the following citation. 

No articles of incorporation due to the prohibition in the West Virginia Constitution, Article 6 section 47, prohibiting the incorporation of religious denominations. 

6-47. Incorporation of religious denominations prohibited.

No charter of incorporation shall be granted to any church or religious denomination. Provisions may be made by general laws for securing the title to church property, and for the sale and transfer thereof, so that it shall be held, used, or transferred for the purposes of such church, or religious denomination.

Board of Pensions Offering Members and Churches Assistance

Members and employers in relationship with the Board of Pensions (BOP) have received information on the ways in which the BOP is offering assistance directly.  The Board of Pensions is covering the cost of Coronavirus testing ordered by a member’s healthcare provider.  In addition, copays for Teledoc services have been suspended through June 30. 

Churches of all sizes may qualify for a three-month dues waiver or a personalized plan for deferment of dues for two months.  It is also offering some work requirement waivers for furloughed employees. Specific information can be found here or by calling 1-800-773-7752 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

See more about the CARES Act in this article from Presbytery Treasurer Rocky Poole.