Jewish Federations of North America, B'nai B'rith applaud CARES Act relief passage

Jewish Federations of North America President and CEO Eric Fingerhut: 'We’re very appreciative of the work Congress did.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

President Trump signs CARES Act into law
President Trump signs CARES Act into law

Jewish nonprofit organizations are expected to benefit from the bill passed in Congress to provide $2.1 trillion in assistance to Americans and businesses affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, reports Jewish News Syndicate (JNS).

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday and passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday in a voice vote. U.S. President Donald Trump signed it into law Friday afternoon.

Individuals earning up to $75,000 annually and heads of household (often, single parents with children) earning up to $112,500 annually would receive a $1,200 check, while couples earning up to $150,000 annually would earn $2,400. Those who exceed the income caps would have their benefits reduced by $5 for every $100 in additional income. Those ineligible to receive a check would be individuals who earn at least $99,000; $146,500 for heads of household; and $198,000 for couples.

While large companies, such as airlines, are set to receive $500 billion in loans and other investments, small businesses and nonprofits, including those that receive Medicaid funding, would receive $349 billion in forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA). This would include $10 billion through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) in which nonprofits and small businesses with no more than 500 employees would be eligible.

The provision to allow nonprofits that receive Medicaid funds to receive loans was a “huge development for the Jewish community because all of our human-services agencies do receive Medicaid, as well as philanthropic support,” said Jewish Federations of North America President and CEO Eric Fingerhut.

“It’s very significant, and it will benefit the Jewish community in many ways, and we’re very appreciative of the work that the Congress did,” Fingerhut told JNS.

The EIDL funds, which can’t have loans that exceed 4 percent, would convert into grants that don’t need to be repaid for money spent on payroll, mortgage payments, rent, utilities or other items through the end of June. They cover annual wages up to $100,000. The grants would be reduced when workers are terminated.

Most Jewish nonprofits will be eligible under EIDL, as the vast majority of them have fewer than 500 employees, according to Fingerhut. Those that do, such as a handful of Jewish health-care facilities, would be eligible for the funds that big businesses are set to receive.

Nonprofits would also receive unemployment insurance expansion, employee retention tax credits, payroll tax-credit deferrals, assistance for nonpublic schools and FEMA disaster loans.

Additionally, hospitals and community health centers, including Jewish ones, would get $100 billion.

Some $65 million is set to be allocated for housing for seniors and those with disabilities, including a number of those linked to the Jewish community.