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Payroll Protection Program for Church Plants – Tips & Tactics


by Patrick Bradley: The US government has approved a stimulus package to help small businesses and nonprofits across the country. And it’s OK to use the Payroll Protection Program for church plants.

Payroll Protection Program for Church Plants

Have you seen the daily webinars about this? It’s been a fast moving target since the government wrote it, approved it and enacted it in about a week. Everybody’s scrambling to interpret and understand how it works and what to do.

Part of the larger CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security), loans are offered to small businesses, nonprofit and churches to help prevent layoffs and pay cuts. And the loans may be forgiven up to 100%. Others have done a better job of explaining the ins and outs of the Payroll Protection Program for church plants (see below), so I won’t duplicate that here.

It feels a bit like the California Gold Rush. The government has funded $350B, but that’s not nearly enough to provide relief for all the businesses, nonprofits and churches that will be applying. So it’s going to be a first come, first served situation.

After much watching and reading, here are my…

Tips & Tactics

Finish your research yesterday

This all happened so fast, but many fellow believers have already put together some great resources. Here are resources that helped me:

Vanderbloemen’s various Live events and free resourcesECFA CARES Impact on ChurchesUS Chamber of Commerce Emergency Loans Guide & Checklist

Talk to your bank on Thursday, April 2

They are scrambling to be ready same as everybody else. And you want to deal with a banker that’s up to speed and ready to go when the program opens on Friday, April 3.

The program is backed by the US Small Business Administration (SBA), but administered by banks and other lenders.

Make an appointment to come back with your application Friday morning.

Have your paperwork ready on Thursday, April 2

Download and complete the Paycheck Protection Program Application Form and get it filled out. They only just made it available Tuesday evening, March 31.

Dig up all of your payroll expenses back to February 2019. To help compile everything, here is a free spreadsheet from my friend Sean Havera at Unite Community Church. He built this for the Payroll Protection Program for church plants and offers it as-is and on condition that you consult with your accountant and/or lender on all final calculations.

Download free PPP calculation spreadsheet

You’ll be averaging your payroll from last year. Common opinion is that if you haven’t been running payroll that long, you can average the months that you did have payroll expenses. That’s great for the newest church planters!

Apply at your bank Friday Morning, April 3

Seriously, you want to be at the front of the line.

If you’ve decided to apply, I hope these tips & tactics help with applying for the Payroll Protection Program for church plants.

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