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Small Business Legal Clinic awarded $35,000 grant by Walmart Foundation

September 22, 2015

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For the second year in a row, Lewis & Clark Law School’s Small Business Legal Clinic (SBLC) has received a significant grant from the Walmart Foundation. The recent award of $35,000 will support the SBLC in providing business transactional legal assistance to low income small business owners in and around the Portland metro area.

The SBLC was founded in 2006 by Lewis & Clark Law School, in partnership with the City of Portland, Portland Development Commission, several large law firms and banks.  The mission of the SBLC is to provide business transactional legal services to low-income small and emerging businesses, cooperatives and nonprofit corporations. By providing free or low-cost legal services to small businesses, the SBLC fills an important niche in the local economy. Since opening its doors, the SBLC has assisted more than 1,000 small businesses and held dozens of community outreach seminars with over 500 businesses attending. Seventy-seven percent of SBLC client businesses are owned by women, minorities, or recent immigrants; 76% are owned by low income or very low income persons; and 90% of SBLC client businesses operate with fewer than five employees.

The Walmart Foundation supports many initiatives that provide opportunities through job training and placement, career advice and greater access to the resources that help people become self-sufficient. This $35,000 award from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program will provide general support for the Small Business Legal Clinic. The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program plays an essential role in the Foundation’s mission to create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation has a State Advisory Council in each state, made up of Walmart associates representing local communities. Each Council helps identify local needs within its state, reviews all eligible grant applications and makes funding recommendations to the Walmart Foundation.

Steve Goebel, Executive Director of the SBLC, says “We are grateful to the Walmart Foundation for their continued partnership, and truly appreciate the work they are doing to support the unmet needs of low income, under served populations in Oregon.”

 

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