Last night, the actual legislative language of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill finally emerged, and within hours the Senate passed the CARES Act bill unanimously. As of this writing, the House is expected to vote on Friday, and the president has not signed it, so it is not law yet. But given the overwhelming need to get protections and relief in place immediately, everyone expects that the CARES Act bill will be the law of the land within days.
Emergency Support for Small to Mid-sized Nonprofits (500 Employees or Fewer)
The bill creates a new Emergency Small Business Loan program within the SBA 7(a) loan program. To be eligible, nonprofits or for-profits must have been in existence on March 1, 2020 or earlier and have 500 or fewer employees. An important provision: under this new program, loans are forgivable if the nonprofit or for-profit keeps staff on the payroll between March 1 and June 30. This, in essence, turns the loan into a general operating support grant. Forgivable loans of this type can be taken out for as much as $10 million and can be used to meet payroll and associated costs (including health insurance premiums), facilities costs, and debt service.
Further good news: A provision in earlier drafts that would have disqualified nonprofits that are eligible for Medicaid payments was removed from the bill..