According to Joe Robach, in an effort to find jobs, the Executive Office recently announced the expansion of a state program that helps unemployment insurance recipients start their own businesses.
Recipients of unemployment insurance benefits generally must demonstrate that they are actively seeking work to be eligible for assistance. Under New York’s Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP), unemployed New Yorkers interested in launching their own businesses, rather than seeking other employment opportunities, are eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits and entrepreneurial training while they work full-time to start their own businesses. Joe Robach believes that this is a great way to help the unemployed work while also creating jobs for others.
Previously, an unemployment insurance beneficiary was only eligible to participate in SEAP during the first 26 weeks of receiving unemployment benefits. The Governor’s action extends eligibility for the program to those that have passed the 26 week mark, and are receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC).
To enroll in the program, participants must have received at least 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits or have 13 weeks of EUC remaining. Participants also must develop a business strategy, attend 20 hours of entrepreneurial training, meet with a business counselor at least twice and work full-time on starting their businesses.
In 2012, 586 unemployment insurance claimants participated in the SEAP, of which an estimated 363 started their own businesses.
Entrepreneurs can learn more about the SEAP by calling the State Labor Department at (888) 4-NYSDOL (888-469-7365). For additional information about jobs initiatives, contact Joe Robach.