Unemployed Get Startup Boost

Some of us realize that this is the right time to start our own businesses.  And if you are unemployed and frustrated by a lack of opportunity, you might want to seriously think about putting a good idea to work for you.  A new New York State program aims to help those who receive unemployment benefits get into the start-up game.

The Self-Employement Assistance Program (SEAP) allows you to receive unemployment benefits and get entrepreneurial training while you work full-time to start your business. Governor Andrew Cuomo just expanded the program for those who are receiving Emergency Unemployment Compensation beyond the normal 26 weeks.

Governor Cuomo said, “The program is a win-win, giving the unemployed a better shot at reaching for the American Dream, while spurring the start of new small businesses in communities across the state.”

To enroll and participate this is what’s needed:

  •  You must have received at least 13 weeks of regular unemployment benefits or have 13 weeks of EUC remaining.
  •  You must develop a business strategy.
  •  Attend 20 hours of entrepreneurial training.
  •  You must  meet with a business counselor at least twice and work full-time on starting your business.

The program’s track record is pretty good. In 2012, 586 unemployment insurance claimants participated in the SEAP, of which an estimated 363 started their own businesses.

To find out more:

Entrepreneurs can learn more about the SEAP by calling the State Labor Department at (888) 4-NYSDOL (888-469-7365).

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.