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Jewish nonprofits advice on securing slices of $284 billion pandemic relief bill

By Ron Kampeas

(JTA) – Nearly a third of the $900 billion Congress is set to approve in a pandemic relief will go to a new round of payroll protection, and the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) is set to reprise the role it played earlier this year and explain how nonprofits can get their share.

“We are pulling back together again the team of experts both from within the JFNA and lay leaders who train themselves on the program to offer volunteer support to help fill out forms and connect banks and such,” Eric Fingerhut, the group’s CEO, said in an interview Monday, Dec. 28, after news broke of agreement between Republicans and Democrats on the $900 billion stimulus plan. Congress approved the plan, part of a larger $2.3 trillion spending package on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Some $284 billion will be set aside for forgivable payroll protection loans for small businesses, including nonprofits, administered through the Small Business Administration. The money will go to small businesses and nonprofits that missed out during the first round of $349 billion in loans, and to those that did get loans but can show sufficient losses to qualify for additional funds.

The JFNA helped lead lobbying for the relief and offered webinars and one-on-one advice for Jewish and non-Jewish profits for the first round of loans. The group held an initial training for this round on Dec. 23, even as the full terms of the new loans were not yet known. The loans will be available through March 31.

What is known is that businesses and nonprofits employing 300 people or less qualify, as opposed to 500 or less in the previous round. Entities applying for a second loan must show a 25% loss in gross receipts against the same quarter in 2019.

Also featuring in the $2.3 trillion spending bill that President Donald Trump is expected to sign:

• Private schools, including religious schools, will be eligible for $2.7 billion in relief out of the $900 billion coronavirus stimulus package.

• Funding for nonprofit security grants, a program initiated in 2005 at the behest of Jewish organizations, has doubled from $90 million in 2020 to $180 million in 2021;

• The Emergency Food and Shelter Program will receive $130 million, up from $120 million two years ago. Jewish welfare agencies are among those who tap into the program.

• A program to assist Holocaust survivors – launched by president-elect Joe Biden when he was vice president – will get $5 million.

For more information contact your local Jewish Federation or visit JFNA.org.

Main Photo: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walks to the senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on December 20, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

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