The Legal Aid Society of Columbus is launching a new initiative to help small businesses navigate commercial lease transactions. “Securing Your Storefront” connects nonprofits and small businesses with legal resources to promote fairness and economic sustainability when entering a commercial real estate lease.
The new program includes two strategies to assist business owners. First, an educational platform equips participants with both substantive knowledge on contract drafting and the soft skills that increase negotiation strength. Stage two partners eligible business owners with a free attorney for lease analysis and consultation.
Factors like a tight commercial real estate market, lack of understanding of complex lease transaction terms, and an inability to access legal counsel leave small businesses vulnerable in lease negotiations. Over-strain due to one-sided lease agreements contributes to business failure, particularly in underserved communities. The new program seeks to promote economic vitality through empowered, educated business owners.
With the average rate of an Ohio attorney topping $219/hour in 2018, and a majority of independent retailers worried about the rising cost of rent, “Securing Your Storefront” also helps reduce the financial strain on small business owners from multiple angles.
For more information on “Securing Your Storefront” contact the Legal Aid Society at 614-241-2001 or email CBoos@ColumbusLegalAid.org.