During the first month of the coronavirus outbreak, while St. Michael Catholic Church and School clergy and staff were scrambling to provide safe worship and distance learning opportunities for parish families, our business office staff was working to stabilize parish finances for an uncertain future.
“People may not realize that we furloughed 29 people this spring—mostly at the school, but here at the church, too,” said Dave Ferry, parish administrator. “We knew the quarantine would impact giving and our budget, so we had to make some tough decisions to prepare for the uncertainty.”
Fortunately, the furloughs were short-lived thanks to a loan through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). The federal government implemented PPP to help keep people employed in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak and quarantine.
“The parish and school qualified to borrow $630,000, and because the funds have been used to bring our employees back to work and keep the rest of our employees working, much of that loan is expected to be forgiven,” Ferry said. “First and foremost, we are grateful: It enabled us to maintain normal operations and keep people employed, just as it was intended.”
As a result, St. Michael Catholic School was able to go above and beyond to support students and families during distance learning, and the parish has continued to plan and provide opportunities for Mass and the sacraments, prayer and formation, for all parishioners.
Ferry is currently working on the application to determine how much of the loan will need to be repaid. Getting at least partial forgiveness on the loan is important to offset the impact on giving with Mass being suspended and financial stress on some families in our parish.
“Parishioners have been very faithful with their giving during the pandemic, but even with their support, we finished the fiscal year at the end of June with a budget shortfall,” he said. “And with most of our summer programming suspended and a fair amount of uncertainty ahead, we are likely to see a deficit for the upcoming year. This loan hopefully buys us the time we need to get back to normal programming and giving levels.”
If you have questions about the PPP loan or giving to St. Michael Catholic Church and School, please contact Ferry at the parish office, 763-497-2745.