In New York Times Op-Ed, D.A. Vance Condemns Exclusion of Formerly Incarcerated Americans From Paycheck Protection Program

June 2, 2020

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. today called upon the federal Small Business Administration to reverse rules that arbitrarily block entrepreneurs with criminal history from obtaining COVID-19 “Paycheck Protection Program” small business loans.

In a New York Times op-ed entitled Don’t Bar Ex-Offenders From Coronavirus Aid Funds, D.A. Vance denounced the rules as “an obvious affront to human dignity” which will result in “long-term economic damage to our communities.” Making small business loans available to “second chance entrepreneurs” would also enhance public safety by “ensuring that a number of our restaurants, barbershops and bodegas – the eyes, ears and soul of our neighborhoods – wouldn’t have to shutter permanently,” D.A. Vance added.

In order to “enable vital investments in neighborhoods where such businesses are located,” prevent recidivism, and “advance both public safety and justice in our society . . . we must call upon Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to make COVID-19 small business funds available to formerly incarcerated Americans,” D.A. Vance concluded. “If he does not, then Congress must act to reverse this arbitrary exclusion in its next relief bill.”

The op-ed can be viewed in full here. Resources for re-entering New Yorkers during COVID-19 are available here. Information about the D.A.’s Office’s unprecedented investments in healthcare, education, housing, and employment for re-entering New Yorkers is available here.