The Covid-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on every aspect of our lives. Our choir concerts have been cancelled, major fundraising events may be in the balance, choirs small and large are wondering about their survival.
So how do you move forward? The websites below offer some excellent resources and they continue to add new information as the situation evolves.
If you need to touch base and talk, I am just an email away. While I may not have answers to every issue you are facing, I can definitely walk you through your concerns and recommend folks who can help.
– Richard Jung, GALA Choruses 411 Fundraising Advisor
These are indeed trying times and many of our organizations are seeing our concert seasons going up in smoke. Here are ways to adapt your fundraising even while your chorus is not performing.
Transforming your chorus’ fundraising event into a Virtual Event
Blog by Tori Cook, Chorus Connection
Host a viral non-event!
Blog by Tori Cook, Chorus Connection
Stream a previously performed concert that you have filmed.
- Invite composers, artist director, soloists, and guest artists to participate in a virtual live “Red Carpet interview” before the concert starts and at intermission
- Post the concert program for download for viewers
- Include a link to your website for donations to support your chorus and make a verbal ask during the live interviews
For more information, visit Streaming Concerts in the GALA Resource Center.
The recently signed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provides the Small Business Association with funds for forgivable loans to registered 501(c)3 non-profits. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans are an incentive for organizations to retain employees and independent contractors on the payroll during the COVID-19 crisis.
PPP loans have a maturity period of 2 years at an interest rate of 1%. You can borrow 2.5 times your average monthly payroll costs (including benefits) over the previous 12 months. These loans are to be used for payroll costs, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities; they require no collateral or personal guarantees and there are no fees. Repayment of these loans are deferred for 6 months and any pre-payment penalties will be waived. There is also a provision that the loan may be forgiven if the organization meets certain criteria; that would essentially turn the loan into a general operating grant.
For the loan to be forgiven, at least 75% of the loan must be used for payroll, and the organization must either keep staff (including independent contractors) on the payroll for 8 weeks after the origination of the loan or re-hire those employees before June 30. The amount forgiven will be based on the organization maintaining salary levels, and the amount of forgiveness will be reduced if the number of full-time employees or wages are less for the 2020 than for the same period in 2019.
Organizations must apply separately to their approved lender for loan forgiveness. The amount of loan forgiveness will be reduced by the number of employees on the payroll compared to 2019 and any reduction in any employee’s wages compared to the same period of 2019. The amount of forgiveness cannot exceed the original principal.
You can download a sample of the PPP borrower application form from the SBA site to review the information that will be requested from you when you apply through an approved lender.
An Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance provides up to $10,000 to an organization, self-employed person or independent contractor suffering a temporary loss of revenue because of COVID-19 restrictions. The advance can be awarded within days of application and may not have to be repaid.
EIDL advances cover expenses incurred between February 15th and June 30th, 2020; the money can be used to cover payroll and health benefits, rent and utilities, and/or interest on mortgage and other fixed debts that cannot paid due to lost revenue caused by the novel coronavirus. Managers must certify that the loan is necessary due to the current economic conditions and that the organization is not receiving duplicate funds for the same expenses.
If the loan application is subsequently denied, the applicant is not required to repay the $10,000 advance. These advance grants will be given on a first-come, first-served basis; leaders of NPOs in need of financial relief should apply for this program as soon as possible.
To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan and loan advance, click here .
SBA Express Bridge Loans enable small businesses which has an existing relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly to bridge the gap while applying for a direct EIDL loan. These Bridge Loans should be repaid by proceeds from the EIDL loan.
There is also an additional Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit that creates a refundable payroll tax credit of up to $5,000 for each employee on the payroll if an organization experienced a whole or partial shutdown and a drop in revenue of at least 50% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to first quarter of 2019; the whole operations must be taken into account in determining eligibility. Employers may also delay payment of 2020 payroll taxes until the end of 2021.
If you already have an SBA loan, the SBA will provide relief by automatically paying the principal, interest and fees of the current 7(a), 504 or microloan for 6 months.
The CARES Act includes expanded unemployment insurance that includes furloughed workers and independent contractors. It increases UI payments by $600/week for four months in addition to what you can claim under your state program. All applications are made at the state level. Even in you have income from another part-time position, you can still apply. Most states have an earnings threshold you must have met on the job you lost in order to claim unemployment benefits. Each state has its own requirements so review the UI website for your state. Apply online and start filing your weekly reports if possible even if the state is backed up on processing claims. You will need a furlough letter indicating that you were laid off because of COVID-19.
Websites for additional information:
This article from Chorus Connection is very helpful about applying for the new PPP funding.
Chorus Connection hosts a wealth of excellent blog posts
Chorus America: Covid-10 resources
National Endowment of the Arts FAQs for COVID-19 impact on applicants and awardees
Performing Arts Website: Financial Losses Calculator