I had a call today from a friend with questions about the New York State Department of Labor’s SEAP - the Self Employment Assistance Program, so I thought I’d share my experience.
According to a Mathematica Policy Research report issued in January, 2017:
Individuals who lose their jobs may have the skills and desire to start their own businesses. Some states have taken action to help unemployed workers create their own jobs by establishing Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) programs, which allow Unemployment Insurance (UI) eligible individuals who meet SEA program requirements to receive a weekly self-employment allowance while they are setting up their businesses. This allowance is equal in amount and duration to regular UI benefits. SEA program participants are also exempted from actively seeking wage and salary jobs so they can devote their energies to self-employment activities while they receive SEA allowances.
This is a long way of saying – the NYS DOL is giving me training wheels for my business!
I received a letter from the NYS Department of Labor on New Year’s Eve, inviting me to apply for SEAP. Seemed like a sign from the universe – instead of going back to work for someone, I’d become a solopreneur!
Here’s the timeline:
Enrollment in SEAP lets you work on your business, but at the same time, requires you to complete 20 hours of training, meet (at least twice) with a business mentor, and submit five benchmark forms. The timeline SEAP provided for benchmarks was:
I’m pleased to report that – as of yesterday - I’ve completed all training and submitted all benchmark forms to fulfill my SEAP requirements! Here’s the list of trainings I completed – all online. SCORE and the US SBA have helpful resources!
Drop me a line if you would like to share advice or if I can tell you more about SEAP!
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Colleen M. Ryan is an