The church in San Jose, which refuses to stick to COVID-19 restrictions, has continued to just accept help
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) – Calvary Chapel San Jose, a church fined more than $ 1 million for violating the state health code, received a sizable paycheck protection program, dated Taxpayer Funded Loan.
According to newly released data from the Small Business Administration, Calvary Chapel San Jose received a loan of $ 340,400 on April 15. ABC7’s analysis found that this is almost three times the average religious organization in the Bay Area.
RELATED: SJ Church Continues to Oppose COVID-19 Orders With Plans for Indoor Christmas Eve Service
It’s frustrating for those who stick to the rules.
“I chose a lockdown, a total lockdown,” said Pastor Kangse Lee of Calvary United Methodist Church. “Safety comes first.”
Lee nearly got a $ 28,000 PPP loan to keep four people. But it wasn’t enough.
“We had to leave three employees, it was very painful.”
Indoor church services are prohibited under the Santa Clara County Public Health Order. However, Pastor McClure can be seen on this YouTube clip preaching in front of his congregation last Sunday, December 20th at 11am
WATCH: San Jose Church is fighting the county as pastor faces fines and jail terms for holding church services indoors
“If we all do our part and just stay in our budget bubble, we can keep people from dying,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara Public Health Director.
Santa Clara County’s attorney James Williams, Calvary Chapel San Jose has continued to hold maskless indoor services since August – fined more than $ 1 million.
“It’s more than disappointing, the situation there is shameful,” said Williams.
RELATED: South Bay Church Moves Outside Worship After $ 112,000 COVID-19 Fines Are Imposed
SBA’s data shows that Calvary Chapel San Jose received its loan on April 14 to keep 70 employees.
“It is disturbing to hear that an institution fed up in court and by public health orders at the state and local levels is turning around and taking taxpayers’ money from the federal government at the same time,” Williams added. “That’s pretty worrying and a bit ironic.”
Churches that can demonstrate an economic need due to the direct impact of COVID-19 can qualify for PPP loans, according to the SBA.
App users: For a better user experience, click here to view the graph in a new window.
“Our job is really to keep the economy going so that it recovers. This has helped churches keep their staff on payroll,” said Miryam Barajas, SBA Region 9 communications director.
“Even for churches that don’t follow the rules?” Stephanie Sierra from ABC7 asked.
“This is out of my scope to comment.”
ABC7 has reached out to Calvary Chapel four times in the past four days for comments and clarification regarding the use of the $ 340,400 loan. We specifically asked how many employees were on the loan.
The I-Team was informed by phone:
“Our finance staff was unavailable until January 5th.”
The ABC7 I team will stick with this story and will contact Calvary Chapel San Jose if their staff can answer our questions.
ABC7’s Lindsey Feingold contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.