Sen. Portman Urges SBA Not to Penalize Business Owners with Criminal Records During Pandemic
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Prison Fellowship®, the nation's largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, released the following statement after Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza urging the SBA to allow small business owners with criminal records to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Currently, the SBA denies PPP applicants if "an owner of 20 percent or more of the equity of the applicant [who] is incarcerated, on probation, on parole, presently subject to an indictment, criminal information, arraignment, or other means by which formal criminal charges are brought in any jurisdiction; or has been convicted of a felony within the last five years." As such, the rule denies far too many people with criminal records who are trying to live out a new life, including those who have recently been under any community supervision for a low-level offense.
"On behalf of the second chance entrepreneurs across the country who are productive, taxpaying citizens in their communities, we thank Senator Portman for becoming their voice during this time of uncertainty," said Heather Rice-Minus, VP of Government Affairs and Church Mobilization for Prison Fellowship. "These men and women, who have already paid their debt to society, need a fair shot at having access to financial relief under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) without facing another collateral consequence. Penalizing those with criminal records who are practicing what we preach by building a new life and their employees as a result, is wrong. All persons bear the image of God and deserve the dignity of a second chance."
Prison Fellowship also thanked Sen. Portman for his continued support of Second Chance Month (April) in continuing to be the lead sponsor of the Senate Resolution, recognizing the month for the last four consecutive years. His advocacy for returning citizens' access to the Paycheck Protection Program during April is a tangible expression of what Second Chance Month is all about. #SecondChanceMonth