Criminal records keep small-business owners from aid program

Paycheck Protection Program
Posted at 7:31 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 22:34:12-04

Criminal records are shutting some small-business owners out of the Paycheck Protection Program.

The program is supposed to be a lifeline for small businesses, helping them stay afloat and keep employees on the payroll during the coronavirus pandemic. But government guidelines say businesses are ineligible if anyone who owns at least 20% of the company is incarcerated, under indictment, on probation or parole, or had been convicted of a felony within the last five years.

Would-be applicants and their advocates say the restrictions are a slap in the face for those who have served their time, especially from an administration that has trumpeted second chances.