Did you know that there are several kinds of government assistance for convicted felons in the USA that are ideal for individuals who want to start a small business? In this post, we will help you know about them and understand how you can get one!
Finding a job for those who have committed a crime can be challenging. According to various studies, a huge number of ex-prisoners do not have any source of earning in the initial years after their release. Having a not-so-impressive record can create a huge impact on those who are looking for ways to be employed, carrying a huge stigma.
This is primarily the reason why they are under the poverty level, resulting in them getting involved in crimes again.
Or else, they can start a business of their own. However, it is important to understand that this is another path with a lot of challenges, like training and funding. Therefore, the federal government offers assistance for the felons in the United States for lending some support. Government assistance for convicted felons is basically offered by various agencies, charities, and non-profit organizations, offering grants to microloans to start a business.
So, before diving deeper into the subject, let us have a quick understanding of what government grants are all about!
What do you mean by a government grant?
Grants are a form of assistance provided by the federal, state, or local government through money that is not required to be paid back. The assistance specifically targets certain groups of people, especially those with low-income or health issues, to cover their basic necessities, such as food, education as well as business startup costs.
However, it is important for people to know about government assistance for convicted felons. Also, they need to compete with other businesses for grants and other financial assistance.
The good thing is that there are some foundations, companies, multinational corporations, and other entities that offer grants and loans for felons.
What is government assistance for convicted felons?
The federal government has a grant database, grants.gov, which has information about various assistance programs. All you need to do is search the database by a keyword, such as a program name, fund type, category, eligibility, etc., to find the relevant grant with ease. It is better if you search with more general terms – for example, “felons”, “startup”, “entrepreneurs”, etc. You can apply directly from there!
Below we have made a list of some government assistance for convicted felons that you can apply for –
Small Business Administration programs
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers assistance for felons that includes free training and loans. These programs especially provide support and help to entrepreneurs in establishing their businesses. Depending on your situation, you might be eligible for most of the programs.
Boots to Business is an entrepreneur, and educational training program, provided by the SBA to give an overview of what running a business involves by offering to learn about business ownership fundamentals, skills, and resources. The program is normally two days long, following which the participants have the ability and access to the SBA’s B2B Revenue Readiness online course. With this program, felons can get support for the business for five years.
Federal Student Aid grants
Mostly, starting a business requires additional education with relevant training that can improve the venture for felons. For this, the government has made it more affordable and obtainable through student aid.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, also called FSEOG, is renowned assistance for undergraduate students with “exceptional” financial need and expertise. The expense offered by the government mostly ranges from $400 to $4,000, which can be used for getting the necessary training. Keep in mind that the priority for distributing grants is given to Federal Pell Grant recipients.
Department of Labor grants
The Department of Labor of the United States also offers various grants and assistance programs for the welfare of convicted felons, along with the support to establish a business. These aids basically cover housing, small business expenses, and a few of the additional costs. Keep in mind that anyone is eligible to apply for this assistance from the government, making the competition more challenging and fierce.
Microloans can be an excellent way to help people to establish a business in the United States. Because of their easy accessibility, these loans are incredibly popular with people with little or no credit history.
The SBA’s microloan offers small businesses with necessary loans of up to $50,000 with an average of around $13,000, in partnership with local non-profit community-based organizations. These authorities also issue and administer the loans. The interest rate in which the loans are provided is averaging between 8% and 11%. The distributed fund can be used for working capital, supplies, and inventory, furniture or fixture, types of machinery and equipment.
The best part is that these loans usually get approved easily by the lenders for the felons, even without having an excellent credit score or expansive credit history.
The Bottom Line
Most of the convicted felons do not get any job in the United States because of their history or past actions after coming out of prison. This is a reason why they are forced to get involved in crimes and other illegal works.
However, the other option is to establish a business themselves that flourishes in the coming years. To support this idea, the government offers various grants and assistance programs that are specifically developed for felons.
The above post includes government assistance for convicted felons, which you can easily access to get the funding for establishing your business. If you want to avail of the benefits, apply for any one of them that you find ideal for your requirements.