Q: Are faith-based organizations, including houses of worship, eligible to receive SBA loans under the PPP and EIDL programs?
A: Yes, and we additionally clarify that faith-based organizations are eligible to receive SBA loans regardless of whether they provide secular social services. That is, no otherwise eligible organization will be disqualified from receiving a loan because of the religious nature, religious identity, or religious speech of the organization. The requirements in certain SBA regulations— 13 C.F.R. §§ 120.110(k) and 123.301(g)—impermissibly exclude some religious entities. Because those regulations bar the participation of a class of potential recipients based solely on their religious status, SBA will decline to enforce these subsections and will propose amendments to conform those regulations to the Constitution. Although 13 C.F.R. § 120.110(a) states that nonprofit entities are ineligible for SBA business loans (which includes the PPP program), the CARES Act explicitly makes nonprofit entities eligible for the PPP program and it does so without regard to whether nonprofit entities provide secular social services.
This Q&A was based on information contained in the SBA’s “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Participation of Faith-based Organizations in the Paycheck protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)” dated 4/3/2020. This CARES Act / SBA / PPP related issuance which addresses faith based organizations, including houses of worship (such as a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue) may be found here: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/SBA%20Faith-Based%20FAQ%20Final.pdf