OU Advocacy urged the White House and U.S. Treasury to ensure that the guidance to banks for making PPP loans is clear that religious nonprofit organizations cannot be rejected because of their religious character or activities.
The Interim Final Rule issued on April 2 by the Treasury contains the following guidance:
“All loans guaranteed by the SBA pursuant to the CARES Act will be made consistent with constitutional, statutory, and regulatory protections for religious liberty, including the First Amendment to the Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000bb-1 and bb-3, and SBA regulation at 13 C.F.R. 113.3-1h, which provides: ‘Nothing in [SBA nondiscrimination regulations] shall apply to a religious corporation, association, educational institution or society with respect to the membership or the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution or society of its religious activities.’ SBA intends to promptly issue additional guidance with regard to religious liberty protections under this program.”
This should resolve any eligibility issues raised by banks on this point.
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