The short answer is YES.
Read the attached SBA Faith-Based FAQ Final pdf for yourself. Some key language to take note of:
- “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.”
- “loans under the program can be used to pay the salaries of ministers and other staff engaged in the religious mission of institutions.”
- “Simply put, a faith-based organization that receives a loan will retain its independence, autonomy, right of expression, religious character, and authority over its governance, and no faith-based organization will be excluded from receiving funding because leadership with, membership in, or employment by that organization is limited to persons who share its religious faith and practice.”
- “Receipt of a loan through any SBA program constitutes Federal financial assistance and carries with it the application of certain nondiscrimination obligations. Any legal obligations that you incur through your receipt of this loan are not permanent, and once the loan is paid or forgiven, those nondiscrimination obligations will no longer apply.”
- With respect to those nondiscrimination obligations, “SBA therefore clarifies that its regulations apply with respect to goods, services, or accommodations offered generally to the public by recipients of these loans, but not to a faith-based organization’s ministry activities within its own faith community.”
This is not legal advise. The terms of accepting financial support from the government are changing daily. Please ask for legal advice from your attorney and talk with your accountant. We are sharing the latest information as we know it to be true, but again, it is changing daily.