Small Business Legal Resources and
Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Project

FREE LEGAL SERVICES FOR YOUR BUSINESS OR NONPROFIT

SBLR Project

To fight the Covid-19 pandemic, Legal Aid Service of Collier County’s Community Economic Development (CED) Unit is able to provide free legal services to eligible small businesses and nonprofits through the Small Business Legal Resources and Covid-19 Relief and Recovery (SBLR) Project. Under SBLR, eligible clients create or retain low-income jobs, have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and face legal or economic barriers that could be removed through the legal services offered. SBLR Project attorneys can further arrange for the services of qualified Certified Professional Accountants (CPAs) to comprehensively address the legal and financial issues that will enable job creation or the retention for low-income employees.

 

What’s Here?

WHAT THE SBLR PROJECT IS

FREE LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDED

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

ONLINE APPLICATION

 

SBLR Funding

               

FINANCED IN PART BY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) AND COLLIER COUNTY COMMUNITY AND HUMAN SERVICES DIVISION. THE NATIONAL OBJECTIVE TO BE ACHIEVED UNDER THIS GRANT IS LOW-TO MODERATE JOB (LMJ) CREATION AND RETENTION.

The objective of the SBLR Project is job creation and retention for employees who were formerly of low to moderate income through free legal services to businesses who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Free Legal Services Provided

Essentially, SBLR attorneys act as corporate or in-house counsel for clients addressing legal needs within certain practice areas. The SBLR Project offers a wide range of free legal and accounting services to achieve these goals including, but not limited to:

 

 

  • Entity selection and limiting liability;
  • Organizational documents with the state (articles of
    incorporation or articles of organization and
    amending these documents)
  • Business governing agreements (draft or
    review bylaws, operating agreement, or partnership agreement):
  • Reviewing agreements already in use by the business to ensure they
    are still in compliance with best practices and current laws;
  • Independent contractor agreements;
  • Contractors versus employees guidance;
  • Tax-exempt status for nonprofits;
  • Fictitious name/ DBA advice and registration;
  • Instructions on filing annual reports and other
    required state filings;
  • Contract drafting/ review/negotiation;
  • Template agreements for customer services;
  • Commercial lease drafting/ review/negotiation/ renegotiation;
  • Succession planning for businesses;
  • Florida trademark advice and registration;
  • Non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements;
  • Non-compete agreements;
  • Legal governance training;
  • Business acquisition representation;
  • Dispute resolution;
  • Accounting assistance;
  • Referrals to local free or low-cost business counseling services;
  • And more.

Eligibility Criteria

If your business or nonprofit is not eligible under the SBLR Project, please visit legalaid.org/fcdl to see if it qualifies under another program.

In business on January 1, 2019

  • Shown through business expenses OR
  • Shown through date of incorporation

Doing business is Collier County

  • Shown through the principal place of business being located in Collier County OR
  • Shown with a business tax license in Collier AND significant business done in Collier

Gross income under $8,000,000

  • Shown on IRS Form 1120, 1120 S, 1065, or Schedule C

Affected negatively by the pandemic

  • Shown objectively by business shutdown(s), lost contract(s), or received a PPP loan to cover or address negative impact, received SBA loan such as an EIDL to cover or address negative impact.

0-100 full-time equivalent employees

  • Two or more part-time employees may add up to a full-time equivalent employee
  • Independent contractors are not considered employees

Create or retain lowincome jobs for employees

  • Employees only need to be low-income or unemployed prior to hiring, not currently
  • A low-income job is considered a $29,550 annual salary for a full-time 35 hour per week employee
  • Two or more part-time employees may add up to a full-time equivalent employee
  • Independent contractors are not considered employees
  • The creation of a low-income job is a reasonable, good-faith pledge the business plans to hire a low-income employee in the reasonable future

How to apply

Fill out the intake questionnaire here, and/or reach out to the SBLR Project Attorney Callhan Soldavini at [email protected]. The SBLR staff will review your application and provide an answer about your business’s eligibility for free legal and accounting services soon after.

Small Business Legal Resources and Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Project Intake Questionnaire

THIS APPLICATION IS FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES ONLY. 

If approved, you will be required to provide documentation to support your answers.

Please be advised that the use of email does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Therefore, communications in the form below at this intake stage are not subject to the attorney-client privilege. The information on this form is sent directly to our SBLR Project staff for evaluation purposes only.  This online initial intake form is provided solely to facilitate contact with our office.  If you have any questions about the intake process email [email protected] or call (239) 298-8141.  Information received will be treated as confidential by SBLR Project staff.  Please do not email highly sensitive information through this form or information regarding trade secrets or proprietary information or information that may pertain to anticipated, current, or future litigation.

NEED HELP ANSWERING THESE QUESTIONS?

We’ll be happy to walk you through it – call (239) 666-3132 or email [email protected].

Please print and fill out the table located here for ONLY employees that were unemployed OR making upto $29,550 prior to hiring, regardless of what their current pay rate is. Do not list independent contractors. Once filled out, please email a copy to [email protected].

SBLR Application

A. BUSINESS MUST BE IN EXISTENCE ON JANUARY 1, 2019

B. BUSINESS MUST BE NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC (SELECT ALL THAT APPLY):

1. The business is REQUIRED to OBJETIVELY document harm from the Covid-19 pandemic, including one or more of the three following harms:

2. Please indicate if the business can also show the following:

C. MUST HAVE GROSS INCOME UNDER $8,000,000

D. MUST CREATE OR RETAIN JOBS FOR EMPLOYEES WHO WERE FORMERLY LOW-INCOME OR UNEMPLOYED

For question D.3 below, LASCC is required to report certain demographic information about employees of the business that were either unemployed or low-income prior to the business hiring them. Answers will be summarized and reported for grant purposes without including the employees or business name, which will be kept confidential.

For grant reporting purposes only, all information will be collected and reported in categories identified below. The definitions and manner for reporting for each category have been established by grant provider for the SBLR Project.

If you prefer LASCC provide the business a form to give to its employees to obtain the requested information on D.3, which includes the reasoning it is requested and that it is confidential, please email [email protected]

3. Download and fill out the table located above this application for ONLY employees that were unemployed OR making up to $29,550 prior to hiring, regardless of what their current pay rate is. Do not list independent contractors. Once the table is filled out, email a copy to [email protected]

E. LEGAL SERVICES HELP THE BUSINESS CREATE OR RETAIN LOW-INCOME JOBS

F. HOW CAN WE HELP?