LCCRSF Partners with City of Oakland to Provide Legal Services to Oakland Small Businesses Hit by COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

October 8, 2020 

Media Contact 

Sam Lew, Communications Manager  

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area  

(415) 272-8022, slew@lccrsf.org  

Harry Hamilton, Marketing Coordinator  

 City of Oakland  

(510) 238-6766, hjhamilton@oaklandca.gov    

***PRESS RELEASE*** 

LCCRSF Partners with City of Oakland to Provide Legal Services to Oakland Small Businesses Hit by COVID-19  

Workshops, Webinars, Consultations Will Assist Oakland Small Businesses with Lease Negotiations   

Oakland, CA – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) is partnering with the City of Oakland to provide legal advice and assistance on lease negotiations to small businesses that have suffered revenue losses due to temporary closures mandated by local Health Orders. The City of Oakland granted $150,000 to LCCRSF in State of California CARES Act funding. Many Oakland small businesses have struggled to pay rent and require legal advice on negotiating lease terms with commercial landlords. LCCRSF will provide legal assistance through commercial leasing webinars, one-hour consultations, and longer-term legal assistance. Oakland business owners can visit this web page to learn more about these free legal services.  

“While the Oakland City Council has passed eviction moratorium legislation, we know Oakland’s struggling small business community needs legal insight on how to approach their landlords about payment plans and other lease terms,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Knowledgeable attorneys will provide advice and assistance to help small businesses retain their brick-and-mortar locations preserving the character of our commercial neighborhoods and the availability of goods and services for Oakland residents and visiting shoppers.”  

“We are excited to partner with the City of Oakland to provide critical legal services to small businesses experiencing the painful financial impacts of COVID-19,” said Tobias Damm-Luhr, Legal Services for Entrepreneurs Staff Attorney at LCCRSF. “This collaboration is an opportunity to ensure that our local businesses are not evicted and displaced during the pandemic and that they can continue providing their goods and services to the community.”   

Given the number of Oakland small businesses in need of legal services, LCCRSF will facilitate webinars on commercial lease negotiations during COVID-19 through the end of 2020. While the webinars are free, advance registration is required. Presented by volunteer attorneys from local law firms, the webinars will be offered in various languages as noted below. 

Webinars are scheduled for:  

Webinar recordings in several languages will be posted to LCCRSF’s and the City’s website to serve as an evergreen resource for business owners with questions on commercial leases.  

Longer-term legal assistance – which may include lease negotiation, pre-litigation and settlement negotiations or representation in a court preceding – will be available for up to 16 Oakland low-income small business owners who cannot afford to hire an attorney on their own. The assistance provided will depend on the expertise of the volunteer and contract attorneys who are available to provide services at the time of the clients’ requests. Longer-term assistance will be capped at $5,000 per client for payment of attorneys’ legal fees. Small business owners who wish to receive additional legal assistance beyond that cap will be responsible for attorney’s fees above $5,000.  

This is the latest CARES Act-funded grant program launched by the City of Oakland. Grant programs for small businessesindividual artists and arts nonprofitscommunity-serving nonprofits and low-income renters and homeowners as well as an RFQ to fund support for low- and moderate-income renters and homeowners were announced in September.  

Learn more about the $36.9 million in CARES Act Funding at: oaklandca.gov/topics/coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-cares-act-funding  

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