At least 18 local Jewish organizations were approved for Small Business Association loans through its Paycheck Protection Program. The loans are intended to help small businesses and nonprofits keep their workforces intact during the pandemic. The SBA will forgive the loans “if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities,” according to the SBA website.
The local Jewish organizations whose loan applications have been approved include the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and all eight of its primary beneficiary organizations: the Jewish Association on Aging, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Jewish Family and Community Services, Jewish Residential Services, Hillel-Jewish University Center, Community Day School, Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh and Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh.
Responses to a Federation survey indicated that nine other local Jewish organizations received SBA loans, including the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle.
Pittsburgh’s Federation has been working with its umbrella organization, the Jewish Federations of North America, to provide information and guidance regarding the loan program to congregations and other organizations, according to Adam Hertzman, director of marketing for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
“I do think this will be a game changer for some organizations that were under financial stress caused by the COVID-19 crisis,” Hertzman said.
While “all of our beneficiary organizations are well-managed financially, so no organization was at risk of going under but for the SBA loan,” Hertzman said, changes in operations due to the pandemic have caused economic strain on many of them.
Organizations that have not yet applied for a loan may still be able to do so, as Congress passed a $484 billion deal last week to replenish the PPP program, which ran out of funds the prior week.
Information regarding applying for an SBA loan can be found on Jewishtogether.org, Hertzman said. Additionally, leaders of Jewish organizations can contact either the Federation’s Milo Averbach or Jenny Kaplan at 412-681-8000 for information about the loan program.
Nationally, among the 1,020 organizations that JFNA received financial data from, PPP loans were approved for 575, totaling $312 million. The median loan amount was $250,000.
As of April 24, an additional 445 organizations were waiting to hear from lenders about whether their applications would be approved.
JFNA estimates that Jewish organizations may receive as much as $500 million from the PPP. PJC