CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nonprofit organizations across West Virginia are taking a hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic but some relief is coming in the way of the recent stimulus bill signed into law by President Donald Trump.
Included in the CARES Act is the creation of a new Emergency Small Business Loan program within the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program that includes nonprofit organizations with 500 employees or fewer.
Tasha Anderson, the Executive Director of the West Virginia Nonprofit Association told MetroNews many nonprofits around the state have been losing funding without being able to hold events and getting more traffic from those laid off for the emergency services they already provide.
“While they are unable to hold those large fundraisers that they need for sustainability throughout the year, these emergency loans are going to be critical for them so they can attain the funding they need to pay staff, rent, utilities, all those things that keep them in business,” Anderson said.
Anderson, Paul Daugherty, the President and CEO Philanthropy West Virginia and Brett Miller, the West Virginia United Way Collaborative all spoke with U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito this week on what they believed needed to be in the stimulus package for nonprofits.
A critical part of the bill for them was to include the nonprofits under small businesses with the SBA and how these small business loans can be turned into grant-like funding.
To be eligible, the organizations must have been in existence on March 1 or earlier and have 500 or fewer employees. Loans are then forgivable if the nonprofit keeps staff on the payroll between March 1 and June 30.
The provisions in the bill also state that forgivable loans can be taken out for up to $10 million and can be used for payroll, facility costs, associated costs, and debt service.
“Philanthropy West Virginia’s members have always been there to lend a helping hand to those in need and given back to the community, making the Mountain State a better place,” Capito said in a release.
“I’m so proud the Senate was able to deliver for non-profits in the most recent coronavirus relief package. Because of the broad definition of ‘small business’ in this bill, non-profits will be considered eligible for all the benefits other small businesses are guaranteed. I thank the Philanthropy West Virginia members for sharing their feedback with me and for their tireless efforts to make our state the best it can be.”
West Virginia Nonprofit Association sent out a “pulse poll” to nonprofits around the state when closures began due to the coronavirus. Anderson said that 100 percent of organizations indicated that they have been impacted by the virus while “the majority” said effects are severe.
“People are afraid of the unknown, how long it’s going to last and what the toll is going to be,” she said. “So they are reaching out for information and want to make sure their voice is heard for one and that they have some solid options so they can help their communities and organizations.”
Daugherty told MetroNews that the needs of the organizations are being compounded by people who are off work, who traditionally would not be off work, asking for food, rent or utility assistance. He said his organization is working with the United Way to put out a list of credible organizations for relief funds.
He said this stimulus package is just one step for nonprofits to recover.
“This allows for us one getting non-profits at the table and two continued dialogue of the challenges as well as the needs as they come up. We don’t know how long this is going to last,” he said.
Daugherty also mentioned the benefit for donors to organizations in this stimulus bill. It contains a one-time, above-the-line deduction for cash contributions of up to $300 made to certain qualifying charities.
According to NPQ, all taxpayers would be eligible to take the deduction, even people who use the standard deduction. Daugherty said that any contributions made in 2020 would be claimed on tax forms next year under the incentive.