Legislature Approves Extension of the Self Employment Assistance Program

July 10, 2009

The New York State Senate last night gave final legislative approval to legislation (A.6050/S.3707) extending the Self Employment Assistance Program until December 7, 2011. Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, who sponsored both the extension and the legislation that created the program, said, “The success of this program is evident. Thousands of jobs have been created since the program’s inception.”

The Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP), which is administered by the N.Y.S. Department of Labor, has been extremely successful in helping individuals who are likely to exhaust their regular unemployment insurance benefits to develop and establish small businesses in New York. SEAP participants receive their unemployment benefits while getting their new enterprise off the ground, even if they earn money through their self-employment. To help make their undertaking a success, participants are required to take part in state-approved entrepreneurial training and business counseling.

Qualified individuals participate in a rigorous program that consists of specific benchmarks they must comply with in order to stay in the program. A participant must complete a minimum of 20 hours of entrepreneurial training, meet a minimum of two times with a certified business counselor, create a business plan and send periodic reports to his or her Department of Labor coordinator.

“The success stories of individuals who participated in the Self Employment Assistance Program are numerous,” said Assemblyman Schimminger, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry. “Individuals who qualify for the program are assisted in achieving their goal of becoming entrepreneurs and in turn contribute to the economy and job growth of the state.”

The bill has been sent to the Governor for his anticipated approval.