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Administered by Barred Business, the Formerly Incarcerated Small Business Rescue Fund is a mutual aid project to raise money for formerly incarcerated business owners excluded from loans and other financial support because of their criminal record. We believe that in order to be truly sustainable, we as a community have to provide for ourselves.


While we began the Small Business Rescue Fund in the early days of the pandemic, when formerly incarcerated business owners were unable to obtain Federal Paycheck Protection Program funding because of their conviction record, we have continued this program to address an ongoing need in our community. Many formerly incarcerated people turn to small business ownership because of the discrimination they experience in the labor market, especially if they are Black.  Financial obstacles remain, even as  research has found that entrepreneurship can lead to both higher incomes and lower recidivism rates.


Find out more about how this project got started: Barred Business: A Response to the Small Business Administration’s Exclusion of Formerly Incarcerated Business Owners.

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