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Parishes: PPP loans 'saving grace'

March 1, 2021 Digital Media Exclusive

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Terry and Jo Faber pray Thursday morning at St. Fidelis Roman Catholic Church in Meridian.

Roman Catholic parishes in Butler County hailed the loans from the federal government's landmark small-business aid program as saving graces for their employees.

Cindy Cusic Micco, director of communications for the Butler Area Catholic Parishes, said the funds received by the five parishes in Paycheck Protection Program loans saved the group from keeping employees furloughed because of revenue cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Offertory contributions, for example, declined by $142,500 between 2019 and 2020 across St. Andrew, St. Fidelis, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Paul and St. Peter, the five parishes represented in the group.

With additional declines in revenue due to not holding or cutting short fundraisers such as the St. Fidelis fish fry and the Festa Italia at St. Michael the Archangel, along with uncertainty about what the future would hold, Micco said, the parishes were far from bullish about their financial outlook.

“We weren't sure,” she said. “At first, we cut back on personnel hours, and then the PPP money came through. That was a relief, that we could continue on with not having to make drastic cuts.”

Read more in Monday's Butler Eagle.

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