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Senators urge SBA to make loans more accessible to people impacted by the criminal justice system

Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Senator Cory Booker, a senior member of the Small Business Committee have urged the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make loans accessible to entrepreneurs with a criminal record.

“Given the critical importance of entrepreneurship for justice impacted individuals and returning citizens, it is important that we ensure they have access to SBA programs. Opening up these programs aligns with the SBA’s mission to ‘aid, counsel, and assist’ small businesses, and aligns with the agency’s long-standing focus on reaching underserved entrepreneurs,” said the Senators in the letter.

The Senators' letter to SBA also highlighted some important statistics around the topic, which supports the need for the changes:

  • Around 27% of ex-convicts are unemployed, which is 9x the national average.

  • In terms of business, 19% of justice-involved individuals started their own business, compared to 11% of those without a record.

  • Up to 1.7 million employees are affiliated with business with an owner who has criminal history.

  • Returning citizen entrepreneurs earned 11% more per hour compared to returning citizens in traditional employment.

Read more about what exactly the Senators are asking the SBA to consider here:



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