During a press conference at the Southfield Public Library today, State Senators Vincent Gregory (D-14th District) and Virgil Smith (D-4th District) and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-9th Congressional) discussed their collaborative efforts to help unemployed entrepreneurs through Self-Employment Assistance.
Gregory and Smith have introduced bills to allow out-of-work Michiganders to collect unemployment insurance benefits while working toward the launch of a new small business. Starting a new business is a full time job in itself and providing the incentive would help spur new economic development opportunities and create new jobs, the lawmakers say.
In Congress, Peters helped write the STARTUP Act and pass key provisions into law that provide millions of federal dollars for this kind of program, but without a legislative change at the state level, Michigan is not eligible for a share of $1.18 million in federal funding.
Michigan and other states have until June 30, 2013 to submit complete applications to the Department of Labor.
“Small businesses account for two thirds of all new jobs and that’s why we’re working together to help entrepreneurs create the 21st century jobs of the future,” Gregory said.
“Small businesses are leading Michigan’s economic recovery and creating jobs right here, so we need to make it easier for entrepreneurs to work toward owning their own business,” Peters said.
“Self-employment assistance participants are 19 times more likely to succeed than those who do not receive this funding," Smith said. "That’s why we’re working to bring this program to Michigan."