Meeting for Worship during “Shelter in Place”
As you probably know by now, both the Governors of Tenessee and Georgia, as well as the Mayor of Chattanooga have issued executive orders that everyone should shelter in place. This naturally raises questions about what churches can do during this time. It is our ultimate belief that we should comply with these measures as a demonstration of unity and care for our communities by not holding public worship services. For those who are holding online services, the Mayor’s office has confirmed the following.
The Mayor’s office is not asking Chattanooga pastors or churches to stop gathering small groups of 10 or less at a location/church to carry out an online service because religious services are deemed essential provided:
- No more than 10 people total (including the pastor) come in to help with streaming the service.
- All participants must practice social distancing while there.
- Additional measures may still be required in the future but not at this time.
The “CARES” Act for Small Businesses, Non-Profits & Churches
The U.S. Small Business Administration, through the CARES Act, is offering loans to qualifying small businesses with very favorable cost, collateral, and forgiveness terms – yes, loan forgiveness. In an effort to bolster employment and promote economic stability, the SBA is taking unprecedented steps. Churches and Non-Profits can request a loan for payroll during this time with some stipulations that would not require you to pay the loan back. The following is a link to a webinar that Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough (HHM) put together to explain the process and the terms.