To the Elks of Kentucky:
Thanks to all of you for your patience during this corona virus pandemic. Our number one priority as Elks is the health of our members and our communities during this national emergency. The impact on our Lodge changes day by day, but here are some of the latest developments.
National Convention: At this time we are still intending to hold the Grand Lodge Session in Baltimore July 5 – 8, 2020. A number of factors are at play. Among other things, the government has advised us to follow social distancing requirements through all of April. Our polar star is to do what is safest for our members but we must also plan for all contingencies. Grand Lodge has advised us a final decision will be made and announced on or before May 15 regarding whether the convention will be held, cancelled, delayed or modified to be held as a virtual experience. Members who make a Pre-registration payment will be issued a full refund if the convention is cancelled.
SBA Cares Loans: As many of you know, the government is making SBA loans under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) to certain small businesses for the operation of bars, restaurants and other activities. At present it appears the loans are only available to 501( c ) ( 3 ) entities. Our Lodges are 501 ( c ) ( 8 ) entities. Whether 501 ( c ) ( 8 )s will ultimately be eligible for these loans is not yet known. Stay tuned. Some Lodges have already completed the application and taken it to a local bank. If approved, all or part of the loan may later be forgiven under certain circumstances. Loans up to $10,000 can be applied for. The amount of the loan appears to be limited to the Lodge’s “payroll costs” during the past 12 months. Sponsors can give permission to borrow for a period of less than one year. Otherwise, Lodges are required to apply for a permit from the Board of Grand Trustees pursuant to GLS 16.050. If there is any modification of this rule in view of these exigent circumstances, you will be notified.
Financial Reporting System: The March 31 deadline for your Lodges to complete the implementation of the new Financial Reporting System (FRS) has been extended. The new deadline for Kentucky Lodges will be May 15, 2020. If your Lodge has not yet implemented this new program, I urge you to contact State FRS Coordinator Charlie Cunningham of Frankfort at 502-695-5750 or at Mrc53@msn.com. You should also again consult the detailed information and FRS training sessions on elks.org. If a Lodge fails to meet the new May 15 deadline, Grand Lodge advises fines can be levied of $100 per month, up to a total of $500.
Lodge Business: The Board of Directors (BOD) should prepare the Lodge budget(s) for the year. This can be done by e-mail. The BOD will vote on the budget(s), again by email if necessary, and record the vote in the Minutes of the BOD. The budget(s) will then be sent to the Lodge Secretary for record purposes. When we are given the green light to resume Lodge meetings, the budget(s) will be presented, modified as needed, and voted upon. Most Lodges have already installed their officers for the 2020-2021 Lodge year. Those that have not done soare reminded they can install officers while observing social distancing or by telephone if necessary. The installation ceremony can be done in abbreviated form with only a PER or the outgoing ER “present” for the ceremony. Finally, the use of a video conferencing platform, such as Zoom, can also be employed by your Lodges to hold meetings.
Hope this helps. Stay healthy and keep the faith.
Lester “Ted” Hess