Senators Portman, Cardin, Lankford, and Booker Introduce the Paycheck Protection Program Second Chance Act
Date:  06-06-2020

Act will allow small business owners with criminal records to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
From Senator Rob Portman

June 4, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), James Lankford (R-OK), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced the Paycheck Protection Program Second Chance Act, which will allow small business owners with criminal records to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Currently, PPP, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses that keep their employees on payroll during the COVID-19 health care and economic crisis, includes several questions that make it unclear as to whether other types of criminal records or past involvement with the justice system may prohibit access to these loans. The application asks if the business has “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.”

This legislation will remove the ban on individuals with felony convictions. This legislation follows Senators Portman and Cardin’s letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Jovita Carranza urging that the SBA allow small business owners with criminal records to apply for the PPP. National and Ohioan reentry and second chance coalition leaders, law enforcement, and local officials have voiced their support of the initiative.

“The federal government should not prevent emergency loans from being distributed to businesses owned by individuals with criminal records. We should celebrate folks who have done exactly what society asked of them: they turned away from crime, started a business to support themselves and their families, and contributed to their communities. An estimated one in three American adults has a criminal record; and because people with records often have trouble finding employment, many of them have gone on to start their own businesses after they have paid for their mistakes. This bipartisan legislation will ensure the PPP properly reflects Congress and the Administration’s support for second chances following a record of bipartisan criminal justice reforms in Congress dating back more than a decade. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this common-sense legislation to ensure the federal government does not deny small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic the assistance they need simply because they are owned by people with criminal records,” said Portman. Continue reading >>>