Black-owned, Black-controlled businesses, eligible for free year of legal services

Paula Wolf//February 7, 2023

Black-owned, Black-controlled businesses, eligible for free year of legal services

Paula Wolf//February 7, 2023

Harrisburg-based McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC announced the continued expansion of its Legal Equity Advancement Program, now open to qualifying Black-owned and Black-controlled businesses in three states.

LEAP helps Black-owned and Black-controlled businesses overcome barriers to entry that are caused, in part, by institutional racism. Each business chosen for the program, now in its third year, is awarded one year of free legal services.

To date, 14 Black-owned or Black-controlled businesses have received free legal services through LEAP. The LEAP Request for Qualifications Portal will remain open through March 6. Qualifying businesses will then be asked to submit an application for the program.

LEAP awardees gain access to nearly every practice area at McNees to help them with a wide range of business needs, including business organization or reorganization, tax, employment, real estate, intellectual property, Minority Business Enterprise certification, and contract review, among others. Recipients are also offered educational webinars/seminars and networking opportunities. McNees launched LEAP in southcentral Pennsylvania and last year expanded it to include Columbus, Ohio. Starting this year, LEAP now extends to parts of western, central and eastern Pennsylvania, as well as Frederick, Maryland.

“We are thrilled to again offer this service to our community, and even more excited that we are expanding LEAP so significantly,” Adeolu Bakare, LEAP co-chair at McNees, said in a release. “Black-owned and Black-controlled businesses too often face high hurdles to getting started and staying operational over time. Our goal is to help break down these barriers and provide tools for sustainable growth and long-term success.”

LEAP applications are now being accepted from qualified businesses in the following areas:

Central Pennsylvania: Adams, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry and York counties.

Eastern Pennsylvania: Chester and Delaware counties.

Western Pennsylvania: Allegheny County.

Ohio: Delaware, Fairfield and Franklin counties.

Maryland: Frederick County.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer