Today, Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones announced the launch of the Small Business Legal Advice Project – Helping Businesses During COVID-19. This pro bono initiative, the first of its kind in the state, offers free legal consultations with volunteer attorneys to Nevada small business owners who are facing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This initiative connects eligible businesses with local, volunteer attorneys experienced in business matters and COVID-19 issues. Business owners will participate in telephone consultations to get answers about how state and federal Emergency Directives will impact their businesses, employment and FMLA issues, available financial assistance through the SBA, bankruptcy questions, commercial evictions and more.
"We have seen this pandemic create a huge need for legal services in our community ranging from unemployment to evictions to health and safety needs for victims of domestic violence and so much more," said Barbara Buckley, executive director of Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. "Small business owners also have legal needs stemming from the shutdown and we understand they are struggling to stay afloat. It is important to us to utilize our best and brightest pro bono attorneys to help make a difference for small business owners just as our lawyers make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable individuals and families."
Jones agreed. "We are happy to collaborate with the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada to serve the needs of small business owners in our community," he said.
There are eligibility requirements in place to receive help through the Small Business Legal Advice Project as well as an online application form. After the application form is submitted, the request is vetted by Legal Aid Center and if approved, the small business owner is contacted by a pro bono attorney for an initial consultation. If the questions are not answered or resolved at that stage, the case is referred to a second pro bono attorney for a more in-depth telephone consultation – up to 1 hour, for free.
For more information, including a listing of the eligibility requirements and online application form, visit www.lacsnprobono.org/smallbusiness. Free online resources for small businesses are also posted online.