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New Program Will Support Unemployed People Starting Own Business

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People collecting unemployment benefits in New Hampshire will soon have another option for finding work – creating their own job.

Governor Maggie Hassan says she will sign the so-called Pathway to Work bill into law on Thursday.

Up until now, people receiving unemployment benefits from the state had to show they were actively looking for work.

But under the new law, people who qualify for the program can instead focus their efforts on starting their own business.

As the Director of the Employment Service Bureau Pamela Szacik explains, those applying will have to show how their business plan makes sense.

“We’re leaving it kind of open and looking at each one individually, working with our labor market department, to see if it is a viable position or viable job. And also working with the Small Business Development Center to see if it is a viable option.”

Those in the program will also have to go through entrepreneurship training and show they are working toward self-employment.

She says the state’s employment security office supported the legislation and will be training staff this week on implementing the program.

Only about 2.5 percent of those collecting unemployment benefits, or about 250 people, are expected to qualify for the program.

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