The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this week published a final rule for the Microloan Program that provides more flexibility to SBA non-profit intermediaries, expands the pool of microloan recipients, and increases accessibility in SBA programs. The change will make small businesses that have an owner who is currently on probation or parole eligible for microloan programs, aiding individuals with the highest barriers to traditional employment to reenter the workforce.
“Small business ownership and self-employment are paths toward wealth creation and independence,” said SBA spokesman Miguel A. Ayala. “This option can be particularly useful for citizens who may have difficulty finding employment after returning to their community from prison. With millions of Americans looking to start over after incarceration or move past their criminal records, the SBA is removing barriers so that citizens can achieve economic security and be successful members of society.”
SBA’s Microloan Program, which is focused on startups, minority and other underserved markets, provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. Microloans play an important role in distressed communities where access to conventional lending remains a challenge. The average microloan size is approximately $13,000.
This action supports the goals of the Federal Reentry Council to reduce barriers to employment and reduce recidivism. It also implements key recommendations of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to increase access to jobs, reduce violence, and provide a second chance.
Other changes to the program also promote increased microloan activity and provide intermediaries with additional flexibility in how they manage program funds. More information about the microloan program can be found at www.sba.gov/microloans.