Help for Small Businesses

CED Project Small Business Assistance

Residents of low–income neighborhoods often must deal with a lack of retail establishments in their neighborhoods, and those businesses that are located in low–income neighborhoods often charge significantly higher prices than similar businesses in other parts of the District.

In addition, small businesses are responsible for creating most of the new jobs in the United States. Creating small businesses in low–income communities creates employment opportunities for residents. For low–income entrepreneurs, a small business also provides a way for them to create wealth that they can pass on to their families.

There are many obstacles that inhibit the formation of new businesses by low–income entrepreneurs. One of the most significant is the lack of access to legal services.

In order to assist low–income entrepreneurs, the Community Economic Development (CED) Project sponsors walk–in small business clinics 10 times a year. The clinics are held every month, except for August and December, throughout the District’s small business counseling centers. The purpose of the clinics is to provide legal information to small business owners and prospective entrepreneurs who operate in economically disadvantaged areas or who have limited financial resources. The clinics provide current and aspiring business owners with an opportunity to speak with an attorney. Volunteer attorneys help review paperwork and answer questions about business formation, taxation, real estate leases, employment law, and other issues common to small business owners. The attorneys give brief general information.

For a full listing of our legal clinics and trainings, visit our Small Business Events Calendar, through the LawHelp Web site.

If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Paley.