Portman Applauds Rule Change Allowing Second Chance Access to Paycheck Protection Program

February 22, 2021 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) praised the announcement by the Biden Administration that Second Chance individuals will no longer be excluded from obtaining Paycheck Protection Program loans, the small business loan relief program created under the bipartisan CARES Act and reauthorized by the FY 2021 Omnibus Spending bill that passed in December, both of which Senator Portman supported.

The PPP application initially asked applicants to declare unrelated felony records, which prohibited former convicts from accessing the loan program. To address this issue, Portman introduced the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Second Chance Act to remove barriers to PPP for owners with unrelated felony records while preserving the presumption of innocence and keeping in place the five year timeframe for felony crimes related to financial fraud. This legislation followed Portman’s letter last year to the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) urging that the SBA allow small business owners with criminal records to apply for the PPP. National and Ohioan reentry and second chance coalition leaders, law enforcement, and local officials voiced their support for the initiative. 

In their announcement today, the Biden Administration cited Portman’s legislation as the basis for this rule change.

“I am pleased that the Biden administration took action to expand Paycheck Protection Program access to Second Chance small business owners,” said Portman. “This is a long-overdue rule change that we originally sought to address with our bipartisan PPP Second Chance Act, and will ensure that small business owners who have spent time in the criminal justice system are not defined by their past mistakes, and instead have equal access to these invaluable small business loans that have helped thousands stay in business through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“I would like to personally thank Senator Portman for his outstanding and continued efforts to understand the needs and concerns of small businesses regarding employment and labor requirements,” said Troy Parker, President and CEO of Innovative Labor and Cleaning Services, Inc. “When you have a conviction on your record and so many doors are shut in your face, it is rewarding to see that some people believe that you are worth a second chance.  The pride it gives you to be able to give back to your community, your family and let those individuals know that they picked the right one to believe in, is humbling.”