Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was enacted on March 27 provides much needed assistance to individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations including our Parishes. 

The benefits that are available to our Parishes are principally Clergy and lay employees’ short-term retention programs in order to ease the burden related to reductions in stewardship, offerings and delays in events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The attached document has been prepared for our parishes and covers the aforementioned programs as well as other payroll related assistance.

Each Parish is encouraged to avail themselves of these benefits to ease the unforeseen financial burden that they are facing. In addition to the attached document, assistance to our Parishes is available through the Metropolis Finance Committees, the Archdiocesan finance team, Elaine Allen, Archdiocesan Council Treasurer or Louis Kircos, National Finance Committee Chair.

For those Parishes that plan to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program as part of the CARES Act, please be aware that each Parish must use a unique Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) that is assigned to that Parish. You cannot use the FEIN of the Archdiocese or that of your Metropolis. You may inadvertently disqualify the Archdiocese or your Metropolis since the loan application software requires a unique FEIN for each application. If you don’t have your own FEIN, apply now at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and assignment of an FEIN is immediate. Obtaining a new FEIN will in no way impact your tax exempt status with the IRS.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken much of the world to almost a standstill, and we are thankful for all that you are doing to assist our faithful. As has been said much in the past weeks, this will be difficult, but together as one community, we can get through this.

Faithfully in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas.                                                          Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

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