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Small Business Admin Proposes to Make Faith-Based Organizations Eligible for Relief

faith organizations Politics SBA Trump Administration US

Small Business Admin Proposes to Make Faith-Based Organizations Eligible for Relief

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has proposed a rule that would make faith-based organizations eligible for some of the agency’s relief programs. The new rule, which is currently open for a 30-day public comment period, aims to remove restrictions that exclude religious organizations from some SBA business loans and disaster assistance programs. Specifically, the Code of Federal Regulations currently states that businesses whose “principal activity” is “teaching, instructing, counseling or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting” are not eligible to participate in SBA assistance programs. Those restrictions, according to the SBA proposal, violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment because they “exclude a class of potential participants based solely on their religious status.” The proposed rule, if passed as is, will allow the previously ineligible businesses to take part in seven SBA programs, namely the Intermediary Lending Pilot program (ILP), SBA Business Loan …

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