Church of Scientology - said to be worth just under $2billion - received PPP loans for three branches, including one in D.C. that did not save any jobs

Daily MaIl, UK/July 7, 2020

By Matthew Wright

The Church of Scientology - estimated to be worth close to $2billion - received coronavirus small business relief loans for three of its branches.

The three branches - located in New York, Washington D.C. and in Florida - all received $150,000 to $300,000, according to the full list released by the U.S. Treasury, the Daily Beast reports.

The loans were part of a rush to inject billions into the economy as the coronavirus pandemic hit, in an attempt to prevent mass layoffs.

Following mounting pressure to disclose specifically which businesses received loans through the Payment Protection Program (PPP) - established by President Trump's CARES Act - the government released records on Monday listing every recipient.

Religious organizations accounted for at least a million of the 51.1million jobs protected by the $660billion program.

Non-profit churches qualified for PPP loans if they had fewer than 500 employees, the same qualifications for other small businesses.

The Founding Church of Scientology of Washington D.C., saved no jobs, but still received a PPP loan, according to data from the U.S. Treasury.

 The Church of Scientology for the Mission of Belleair, Florida, said that 13 jobs were saved with their loans.

The Church of Scientology of New York said that 10 jobs were saved by the PPP loan they received.

The Scientology Money Project, a blog run by Jeffrey Augustine - the spouse of a former Scientologist - projects the controversial church to be worth $1.75billion.

Annual revenue is approximately $200million, Augustine estimates.

The Church of Scientology owns several properties across the world, including $400million in property in Los Angeles.

In their spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, the church has 60 properties worth an estimated $168million.

Christian churches made up the bulk of the religious organizations that received loans, according to a Reuters analysis.

New data suggests Catholic churches have found it easier to secure the coveted PPP loans than other small businesses.

Between 12,000 and 13,000 of the nation's 17,000 Catholic churches - more than 70 percent - have applied for loans, according to Pat Markey, executive director of the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference, an association of finance officers from Catholic dioceses.

Markey estimated that around 75 percent of those churches had their applications approved - roughly 6,000 in the first round and 3,000 in the second round.

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