Resources for Religious Organizations, Foundations, Charities, and Other Non-Profit Organizations Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread to countries worldwide. We have curated a collection of resources that may be helpful for Boards and management of religious organizations, foundations, charities, and other non-profit organizations in navigating this crisis. We will update this page as developments warrant.
The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) through the U.S. Small Business Administration offers loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations, among other types of entities, of up to $10 million. For more information, including about the PPP’s applicability to non-profit organizations, please see CBMS’s article.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advances are being provided to small businesses and private non-profit organizations by the U.S. Small Business Administration. These loans are low-interest fixed rate loans of up to $2 million and loan advances of up to $10,000 that can be used to pay immediate expenses during this emergency. For more information, please see CBMS’s guidance here.
Private Sector Relief Funds:
Facebook Small Business Grants Program is distributing $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help small businesses weather the storm created by COVID-19. Small businesses or organizations with between 2 and 50 employees that have been operating for more than a year, have experienced challenges from COVID-19, and operate in one of the five boroughs of New York City are eligible to apply.
Community Foundation Relief Funds for Non-Profits (NY): Service-providing non-profit organizations may be able to obtain grants and/or loans to assist in providing services to frontline workers and/or vulnerable populations. Check out the following resources:
The New York Community Trust: This fund will give grants and loans to NYC-based nonprofits that are providing aid to those struggling with fallout from COVID-19. Priority will be given to nonprofits addressing essential healthcare and food insecurity as well as arts and culture. Funds will help nonprofits with a variety of needs, including protective equipment, cleaning supplies, technological assistance, and support for financial losses.
Brooklyn COVID-19 Response Fund: This fund is providing grants to frontline advocacy and service organizations in Brooklyn that are providing aid to vulnerable populations, meal delivery, and daily living needs for homebound neighbors, support for low-wage workers, and limited access to healthcare and paid leave.
Robin Hood has established a COVID-19 relief fund for organizations at the frontline of relief efforts including serving vulnerable populations, emergency assistance, at risk for govt contracts, incurred unexpected expenses.
General Non-Profit Resources:
Workplace guidance from CDC (updated regularly).
Many tech companies have made products for remote work free during this period. See this roundup.
Here is guidance on changing a physical event to a virtual event.
Resources for Foundations:
Council on Foundations has a resource center for foundations.
Resources for Churches & Religious Organizations:
The CDC has a resource page for community and faith-based leaders.
Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs has a resource guide for faith-based organizations.
Resources for Charitable Organizations Providing Direct Relief Assistance:
The IRS has guidance on documentation a charity providing disaster relief assistance must maintain to document its relief activities.
The information provide in this resource list is continuously changing and being updated. This list is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or business advice. If your business or organization requires assistance, please contact Renato Matos, Esq., at Rmatos@cbmslaw.com.
In response to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, President Trump signed into law, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus program called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“Cares Act”). The Cares Act is designed to distribute money quickly to provide immediate financial relief to qualified individuals, small businesses, and other organizations. One of the most far-reaching sections of the Cares Act is the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) which expands the economic relief the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) can offer and creates incentives to retain and pay employees during these uncertain and stressful times.
The Cares Act’s PPP commits $349 billion for – potentially forgivable – loans, by expanding loans provided by the SBA under Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act. PPP expands the recipients eligible for federally-backed loans, by including certain non-profit organizations as a qualified business. Small businesses, non-profit organizations, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors that meet the criteria and requirements of the program can apply for a loan through PPP. Specifically, a qualified non-profit organization is any entity: (a) exempt from federal income taxes undereither Section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) (veteran organizations) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and (b) with fewer than 500 employees, including individuals employed on a full-time, part-time , or other basis . This article will solely focus on how PPP applies to non-profit organizations exempt from taxes under 501(c)(3) of the Code with fewer than 500 employees (“Non-profit Organization”), including certain religious and charitable organizations.
The SBA will guarantee 100% of the loans issued by qualified banks, credit unions and other lenders previously authorized to issue loans under Section 7(a) of the SBA or recently designated by the Treasury Department. Through the PPP, eligible recipients can receive a loan up to $10 million with a fixed interestrate of 0.5%. The loan amount is determined based on the Non-profit Organization’s payroll (as such term is defined below) and will be the lesser of: (a) 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs incurred during the one year period before the date on which the loan is made (seasonal businesses and companies not in existence from February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019, are treated differently), and (b) $10 million. The repayment of the loan (principal and interest) will be deferred for six (6) months, however, interest will continue to accrue over this period. No personal guarantee is required, no collateral is needed to be pledged to secure the loan, no administration fee will be charged (although participating lenders may charge a fee) and there will be no prepayment penalties. In addition, the loan is nonrecourse (the lender has no claim against any member of a Non-profit Organization for non-payment), except if the proceeds are used for prohibited or illegal uses.
A PPP loan must be used for the following expenses:
(a) payroll costs,
(b) interest on mortgage obligations (not including prepayment or the payment of principal) or other debt obligations existing prior to February 15, 2020,
(c) rent under an enforceable lease agreement executed prior to February 15, 2020, and
(d) utility payments for which services began prior to February 15, 2020 (collectively, “Eligible Operation Expenses”).
Specifically, “payroll” includes salaries, wages, commission, payroll support (paid vacation, sick, medical and family leave), group healthcare benefits (including insurance premiums), retirement benefits and the payment of state or local employment taxes. However, payroll expenses exclude: (a) salaries for individual employees in excess of $100,000 annually, (b) payroll taxes, railroad retirement taxes, and income taxes, (c) compensation for employees with a foreign principal residence, and (d) qualified wages for which a credit is permissible under another federal program (sick or family leave programs).
A Non-profit Organization can apply for a loan through PPP from any existing SBA lender, federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, Farm Credit System institution or from additional lenders authorized by the Department of Treasury, by submitting a loan application and the required supplemental documents. In evaluating a potential borrower, the lending institution will only consider whether the Non-profit Organization: (a) was in operation on March 1, 2020 and (b) paid salaries and payroll taxes during that time. An eligible Non-profit Organization must make a good faith certification to the lending institution stating that: (i) the requested loan is necessary to support operations during the adverse economic conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, (ii) the funds will be used to retain employees and maintain payroll and (iii) the Non-profit Organization has not and will not receive another loan through the PPP (only one loan is permitted) between February 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
If a Non-profit Organization receives a loan through PPP, it is eligible for forgiveness (cancellation) of the indebtedness based on the amount spent on the Eligible Operation Expenses. Due to the high demand, it is anticipated that the SBA will require that 75% of the forgiven indebtedness be used for payroll over the eight (8) week period commencing upon receipt of the loan (“Eight Week Period”). Forgiveness of the loan is not automatic. The Non-profit Organization will need to submit a loan forgiveness application to the servicing lender. The lender must make a decision on the forgiveness of the loan within sixty (60) days from receipt of the forgiveness application.
The loan may be forgiven up to the principal amount, but the forgiven amount may be reduced if: (a) the Non-profit Organization decreases the number of employees during the Eight Week Period. The loan forgiveness reduction is based on the following equation:
The average number of full-time employees per month for the Eight Week Period
The average number of full-time employees per month from February 15, 2019 to
June 30, 2019 or January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020 (as such time period is
elected by the Non-profit Organization).
(b) there is a reduction in eligible employee compensation in excess of 25% of such compensation paid during the most recent full quarter period prior to origination of the loan, (c) any of the proceeds of the loan are not used for the Eligible Operation Expenses (in accordance with the required proportions), or (d) the Non-profit Organization does not provide the lender with adequate records evidencing the use of the funds; thus, it is crucial for Non-profit Organizations to keep track of the funds. It is important to note that if a Nonprofit Organization restores the reduction in employees and/or compensation by June 30, 2020, the forgiven indebtedness will not be decreased pursuant to (a) and (b) above.
Any portion of the loan that is not forgiven is subject to a two year maturity date and will continue to operate in accordance with the loan terms agreed upon by the Non-profit Organization and the lender. Last, the Cares Act provides that the forgiven debt under the PPP is excluded from gross income for purposes of the Code of 1986. Therefore, unlike other cancelled debt, the Non-profit Organization will not be required to pay income tax on the forgiven debt.
Non-profit Organizations and small businesses can apply for the SBA loans starting April 3, 2020, and independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply starting April 10, 2020. The PPP will continue until June 30, 2020, however Non-profit Organizations should apply as soon as funds become available because there will likely be a high volume of applicants and there is a finite amount of funds allocated to the program.
Below are a few key resources to assist Non-Profit Organizations through the application process:
- Fact Sheet: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP–Fact-Sheet.pdf
- Sample Application: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-ProtectionProgram-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf
- 100 Most Active SBA 7(a) Lenders: https://www.sba.gov/article/2020/mar/02/100-mostactive-sba-7a-lenders
Disclaimer: The information in this article is continuously changing and being updated. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or business advice. Each entity, based on its specific circumstances, must determine whether to seek and secure an SBA loan. In no way is Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld LLP advising that it is appropriate for all entities to seek such loans. If your religious corporation or non-profit organizations requires assistance, please contact Jodi Warren, Esq., at Jwarren@cbmslaw.com or Renato Matos, Esq., at Rmatos@cbmslaw.com.
On March 27, 2020, a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus program called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (as known as the “CARES Act”), was signed into law, in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act includes provisions that are designed to provide immediate relief to, among others, certain non-profit organizations. One (1) area of note in the CARES Act, includes the expansion of section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)) (the “Act”), known as the Paycheck Protection Program.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
Under the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) provides for $349 billion of forgivable Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loans to qualifying businesses. One such qualifying business eligible for SBA loans are non-profit organizations that (a) are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) or Section 501(c)(19) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and (b) have less than 500 employees. This would include certain religious and charitable corporations.
Through the PPP, eligible non-profits can receive a loan of up to $10 million with an interest rate not to exceed 4%. The exact loan amount will be determined by a formula directly correlated to the payroll costs (i.e. up to 2.5 times the borrower’s average monthly, less certain excluded payroll costs). No personal guarantee is required, and no collateral needs to be pledged to secure the loan. The SBA will guarantee 100% of the loan and eligible borrowers can apply through their existing SBA lenders, qualified banks, credit unions and other lenders. Lenders will begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.
The CARES Act also provides for grant forgiveness of the loans up to an amount equal to the following expenses paid during an eight-week period beginning on the date of the origination of the loan:
1. Payroll costs (subject to certain salary cap and other limitations);
2. Interest on mortgage obligations or other debt existing prior to Feb. 15, 2020;
3. Rent under any enforceable lease agreement prior to Feb. 15, 2020; and
4. Utilities for which service began prior to Feb. 15, 2020.
It is important to note that there are the restrictions on the amount of loan forgiveness that may be received by borrowers, including that the forgiven amount: (a) cannot exceed the loan principal and (b) will be reduced if employees are either laid off or there is a reduction in compensation during such eight-week period. However, if those employees are rehired or if their compensation is restored to the February 15, 2020 levels prior to June 30, 2020, then the forgiveness reduction penalties will not impact the business or entity.
The application can be found here, along with a fact sheet for borrowers here, provided by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Additional information regarding the mechanics and requirements of the PPP will be released in the coming weeks.
Governor Cuomo recently announced his proposed State Budget for 2020-21 and it is making the many of us working with the elderly or disabled very nervous. The proposed budget states that $2.5 billion must be cut from the Medicaid program. Although the proposed budget does not specify which aspects of the Medicaid program will be cut, it does set up a Medicaid Redesign Team (“MRT”) designed to consider the aspects of the Medicaid program that should be changed or eliminated. These recommendations are expected to come out in mid-March.
Although no one knows for sure what these recommendations will be, we have some good guesses as to what is on the chopping block. The first item under the microscope is the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (“CDPAP”). The CDPAP program allows consumers to recruit, hire, and direct their own home care workers, rather than using caregivers from agencies. In many cases, the most appropriate and suitable care can best be provided by a relative or other chosen caregiver rather than an agency.
The second item is the Spousal Refusal. The Spousal Refusal is utilized by many couples applying for long-term care benefits for an ailing spouse – either at home or in a facility. This essential eligibility strategy ensures that the “well” spouse can protect needed resources and income to pay living expenses. The elimination of this strategy would be devastating to many throughout the state as it would mean that both spouses would need to be impoverished to get on the program.
Various NYS bar associations are advocating for these needed programs. We at CBMS continue to vigilantly watch the changes to the Medicaid program and we urge our friends, colleagues and clients to be proactive about their own Medicaid planning. We are always here to address any questions and concerns.
CBMS is proud to announce that associate attorney David de Barros has been promoted to Partner, effective as of Jan 1, 2020.
CBMS Partner Robert Barnett recently presented a lecture through Lorman discussing how to utilize passive activity losses including recent tax legislation and cases.
With so many new tax rules, it is important to be informed before the upcoming tax season Lorman has graciously offered this 93-minute lecture to our friends and colleagues at a 50% courtesy discount. The course is eligible for 1.5 CPE credits in Connecticut, New Jersey and 9 other states.
Click the link below if you would like to access it as either an OnDemand Webinar, an audio file and reference manual delivered on USB flashdrive, or MP3 download of the webinar along with reference manual.
CBMS is pleased to report the success of our 5th annual Interchurch Center Conference. This year, titled ‘”Reenvisioning Mission and Ministry: Creative Strategies for the Church of Tomorrow” had amazing speeches from all of our speakers, beginning with our Keynote address: How We Gather’s Casper ter Kuile. Casper is the co-founder of Sacred Design Lab, a research and design consultancy working to create a culture of belonging and becoming. His engaging speech gave audience members opportunities to reflect and converse with each other, but also to ask thought-provoking questions and learn about the parallels of gathering in different circumstances.
Bill Woolsey, founder of the FiveTwo Network, and Melissa Spas, Director of Education and Engagement of the Lake Institute on Philanthropy and Giving, rounded out the rest of the speakers with their own respective talks on Christianity’s place in leadership, and the ways beyond monetarily that we can contribute philanthropically.
The conference was wrapped up with two panels, first a diverse panel of pastors from various backgrounds and denominations speaking of their various experiences as leaders of the faith in New York. The Reverends Cleotha Robertson, Andrew Durbidge, William Critzman, and Lenny Duncan delivered touching anecdotes about the different struggles that come with leading a congregation, being LGBT, not having enough money to renovate appropriately, and more. Ultimately their different backgrounds demonstrate the individual perspectives that they bring to the table in order to solve the problems that they all face.
Finally, the Council of Church Advisors, a not-for-profit group that was a main sponsor for the Conference held a panel with its members discussing how to spearhead solutions from different professional avenues. They are a diverse group of individuals from different professions that have joined together to help address and fix the ailments presented to most modern congregations, and from a multi-faceted approach work with leaders of said congregations.
We hope all who attended enjoyed themselves and took something valuable away from the conference. Here’s to another successful conference next year!
CBMS Partner Peter Sanders to speak at Brooklyn Bar Association’s CLE on 10/29 about the Tenant Protection Act of 2019.
This CLE will be an examination of the array of new laws regarding landlord-tenant matters that were passed on June 14, 2019. Peter will be covering changes regarding Major Capital Improvements (MCIs) and Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs)
Promotional code for Kings County Housing Court Bar Association members: KCHCBA50offCLE
I write this on 9-11-19 remembering that sad and infamous day eighteen years ago. Sadness continues to overwhelm me as I recall all those innocent victims. I recall especially also those 60 children who were all students in the Lutheran Schools of New York who on that day lost either a parent or a grandparent. I recall those trapped, those who leapt to their death. And I recall the public servants who did all they could to assist. Painfully I remember those misguided men who perpetrated this unthinkable evil-and did it in the name of God.
I remember with special admiration and gratitude the many who rendered all kinds of supportive services to those so terribly affected by this event. I recall with special gratitude and admiration the incredible work of Lutheran Disaster Relief New York under the extremely capable leadership of John Scibilia.
In the midst of the throng that passes by in my mental image I recall one who was not at the Twin Towers that day but later assisted many of those affected by that disaster-HOWARD CAPELL. Howie was an incredibly gifted and big-hearted New York lawyer. Howie was my personal lawyer and he was the official lawyer for The Lutheran Schools Association-and of many other Lutheran friends, churches and schools.
Of special interest is the fact that he was the persistent, patient, unrelenting and capable attorney for Dr. David Benke. Dr. Benke was the President (Bishop) of The Atlantic District of the LCMS. He joined thousands in a public outpouring of prayers at Yankee Stadium praying for all those affected by 9-11. Some high church officials deemed his prayerful participation contrary to Lutheran doctrine and practice and sought to have President Benke defrocked. Howie was his legal representative and hung in there for years until Benke was finally cleared
Howie did more. He pleaded the case of many public service employees or dependents who lost their lives or whose lives were severely negatively affected by all that went on in, under, and near to the those fallen towers. Of special note was the appropriate benefits which he secured for many police officers and their families. I have written in a previous blog how he became known throughout the city for his tenacious advocacy and how police officers quickly recognized his automobile, cleared traffic for him, found him immediate parking spaces-always free and within close walking distance of his destination-even in the midst of Times Square.
Previous to the 9-11 situation Howie was always there for The Lutheran Schools in New York and elsewhere. He fended off suits brought by upset parents or angry former teachers. He was especially helpful in more than one case through his unbelievable contacts and pleadings with the IRS and other government agencies. On at least three occasions he aided schools which had withheld FICA payments from employees but never sent them in the IRS or Social Security. In each case Howie used his skills and contacts to have fines written off and the balances reduced.
He helped write all the documents to have The Lutheran Schools Association be properly registered with government agencies -and he did it all pro bono.
He wrote my will. When by God’s special grace to me to I made a significant profit on an investment he insisted that I tithe the profits with a gift through a church related charitable remainder trust. Now 25 years later I still get a generous annual interest payment and at my death a trio of my favorite causes will receive their remainder.
And he was fun to be with. He was not a drinker of alcohol but always invited his guests to enjoy a libation. He took me to New York steak houses that were way out of my price range. He brought guests to benefit golf events and purchased more lottery tickets than anyone else. Of special interest to me was when he and Sheila accompanied me on an incredible tour of China (including the whole Eastern section) and Tibet. He met everybody, left the group when he wanted to do his own thing, and made friends with all whom he encountered. And a couple years after that China trip he joined me and a couple others for an unbelievable and unheard of “week-end expedition to Hong Kong for golf”.
He was a strong family man and it was fun to watch and listen to his family interactions. His sons wisely chose not to be his business partners-and loved him dearly. His marvelous wife Sheila and he was always at odds on foreign travel, eating choices, how much time to spend in their Florida home and lots of other stuff – but always loved each other, stood up for and by each other and were 100% mutually faithful.
Howie loved doing work not only for Lutheran churches and schools but also for many other churches and he had the reputation as the right one to go for if any religious organization in New York ever needed legal advice or representation.
His heritage was 100% Jewish. He was not one to be overly committed to observing the Sabbath. But especially in his later days as he (way too early) suffered and eventually died of cancer it was important to him that appropriate religious rituals and expectations be observed.
And so today I remember my friend, my advocate, my model, my brother: HOWARD CAPELL.