The loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were initially set up in March under the CARES Act, as an emergency measure to help eligible small businesses and non-profits keep employees on payroll during the pandemic. The loans could become grants if certain conditions were met.
To be eligible for PPP loans, businesses and non-profits could not have more than 500 employees. If they were affiliated with a larger national organization under existing Small Business Administration (SBA) rules, then they would be counted together with the larger organization and all its affiliates.
Faith-based groups were exempt from the affiliation requirement, which meant that Catholic parishes and schools-while part of a larger diocese-were not all lumped together and counted as a single entity that would be ineligible for PPP loans. Thousands of parishes have applied for and received PPP loans.
Other national organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which says it has 49 affiliates around the country, were meant to be subject to the affiliation rules and thus were considered ineligible for the emergency assistance.
Funding of Planned Parenthood was part of the negotiations for the CARES Act in March, and the bill passed reportedly with Planned Parenthood locked out of the PPP loan program. On March 27, when the bill passed the House, Planned Parenthood Action decried the "attacks on reproductive care"
"The latest coronavirus relief package expands the Hyde Amendment to a new pot of funds and attempts to target Planned Parenthood health centers - a cruel disservice to the millions of people across the country who are already struggling to access care," Planned Parenthood's acting president Alexis McGill-Johnson stated.