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Small Business Legal Clinic

SBLC Deepens Relationship with Warm Springs Reservation

May 16, 2019

The Small Business Legal Clinic recently had the opportunity to begin work with new small businesses in Warm Springs, Oregon. In November 2018, the Small Business Legal Clinic Director, Julieanna Elegant and Professor Susan Felstiner and law student Alison Roth presented to the Warm Springs Community Action Team’s business promotion program. The Warm Springs Community Action Team’s business promotion program is focused on increasing the number of tribal member owned small businesses throughout the reservation. There are around 20 clients working with the small business coach. These individuals would like to be business owners but are working through a variety of different issues before they can be considered actual entrepreneurs and open the doors on their businesses. The biggest hindrance for tribal members trying to open new establishments is rules and regulations enforced on the reservation.

Alison and Julieanna present to entrepreneurs at Warm Springs Reservation. Alison and Julieanna present to entrepreneurs at Warm Springs Reservation.

 The Warm Springs community is engaged in exciting new projects which will provide businesses opportunities to these individuals. They are in the process of moving one of the oldest buildings in Warm Springs, designated as a historic structure by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, out near Highway 26 and remodel it for purpose of increasing the infrastructure available for tribal member businesses. The building will provide a coffee shop, artisan co-op spaces, retail spaces and about six to eight food carts will be set next to the building. Hopefully this will be the beginning of re-establishing a downtown business district as the cornerstone of all new development focused on growth and prosperity for all tribal members and residents of Warm Springs.    

Dustin Seyler, who is the Small Business Advisor and also a member of the tribe reached out to the Small Business Legal Clinic in September of 2018. He expressed the need for legal services and understanding for those attending his classes. Clinic staff was very excited to travel to Warm Springs and presented on entity formation and intellectual property basics, specifically trademark registration. The SBLC saw this as a first step in a longer relationship. Julieanna returned to present briefly on risk management basics on May 5, 2019 at their first annual Small Business Conference. In the future, the SBLC hopes to provide additional training and eventually to provide one-on-one legal support to these businesses, once the redevelopment of the downtown space of Warm Springs is completed.