Lawyers Helping Small Businesses Navigating CARES Act Funding Requirements

Suz Mac Cormac and Kaela Colwell spoke to the Daily Journal for an article featuring the Bay Area Small/Social Enterprise Task Force (BASE Force), which is a group led by Morrison & Foerster with other legal, financial, and nonprofit professionals who are guiding small businesses through emergency resources. The task force is focused on collecting local, state, federal, and private/nonprofit resources for Bay Area small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and disseminating this information in a digestible way as quickly as possible.

“The current estimate is 30% of the small businesses in the Bay Area will not be there by this summer if we don’t help them,” said Suz, who is chair of the firm’s Social Enterprise + Impact Investing Group and is leading the firm’s efforts on the task force. She added that with BASE Force, “We want to give the same level of advice we are giving to the large, well-funded venture and private equity backed companies.”

Kaela, also a task force member, said that during one of her BASE Force business hours, business owners asked how to calculate payroll expenses for a sole proprietor. What’s required, she said, “is a certain level of technical understanding to get through the application process.”

The task force is looking for more attorneys and law firms to provide support. The need, Suz said, is staggering.

“I don’t know how to explain this to people if you don’t see it — it is as big as climate change,” she said of the number of struggling business owners in the Bay Area. “We have to get the word out because it’s going to be real. It’s going to be awful.”

Read the full article (subscription required).