Collaboration affords legal help to small businesses

Two state agencies have partnered with the legal community to offer assistance to small businesses in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade have joined with the Colorado Lawyers Committee to create a volunteer network connecting lawyers with small businesses.

Volunteers from law firms and in-house legal staff will work with small business development centers around the state in helping businesses through individual representation as well as webinars. Volunteers will offer assistance with everything from financial aid compliance to leasing arrangements to legal liability.

“Legal guidance is critical for all businesses during a time of changes and crisis. By working together with volunteers throughout the state, we can help Colorado’s small businesses, particularly women and minority owned businesses, confront the challenges they are facing at this time,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. “I am thrilled to see volunteers from Colorado’s legal community step up to help our business community address their legal needs that stem from the national pandemic.”

Betsy Markey, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, agreed. “Colorado’s small businesses are the economic engine of our state, and the pandemic has placed enormous strain on their operations. I am grateful for public-spirited attorneys volunteering around Colorado to help our small businesses through the crisis. Without this collaborative effort, our ability to provide meaningful legal guidance to our small business community would not have been possible.”

The Colorado Lawyers Committee, a consortium of 80 Colorado law firms, will help match volunteer lawyers with small businesses that need assistance.

“We are thrilled to tap the amazing skills of Colorado’s attorneys in this time of need,” said Connie Talmage, executive director of the committee. “The impact of the economic crisis on minority and women-owned businesses is especially severe, and this is a much-needed program.”

Businesses interested in applying for assistance or volunteers willing to help should log on to the website at www.coloradocovidrelief.org.