In collaboration with the Cornell Legal Research Clinic, we can now offer a New York specific checklist, glossary of terms and sample clauses so that you can be informed before you sign.
Small businesses can lose money, or equipment, or face unexpected difficulties due to their lease terms. The lease offered to you by a potential landlord is likely to favor their rights over yours. Don’t just sign it! Take it home, read it thoroughly, and go through the materials on this page to see if you should ask for changes.
If you need to, contact an attorney to review the contract with you.
We envision a community where everyone who wants work has the opportunity to work.
Economic Development, when people matter
The conference was a success! But there is still much work to be done to improve our small business climate. We are hoping to have follow up meetings to encourage local dialogue and action.
Bruce Seifer’s prepared remarks for the Saturday morning portion are embedded below, and linked here.
Civil Advocacy Project is a legal services nonprofit, operating in New York State to help low income entrepreneurs. As an attorney trying to help people lift themselves out of poverty, I found that some of my most passionate and dedicated clients faced a constellation of challenges that are beyond the scope of what I do.
My clients have trouble getting traditional loans. They don’t have a ready pool of investors. Family and friends with money to invest. They have trouble finding a little space to rent for their business as it grows. Or they get hamstrung by the logistics of life, the ‘soft’ infrastructure of life that holds up a community – access to education, child care, food, transportation.
After visiting our Vermont office, and seeing how many small businesses are thriving in nearby Burlington, I wanted to bring some of that magic back to upstate New York.
After a bit of research, I found that the magic that helped small businesses in Vermont was no accident. In the early 1980’s, a political contingent was elected that focused on a ‘grow what you have’ theory of economic development. Through errors and trials, and success, they purposefully designed and created structures to support small growth.
To my great pleasure, I found many in Ithaca who are already working on nurturing the businesses my clients start. This conference is co-sponsored by the Center for Transformative Action, by Local First Ithaca, and Tompkins Workforce Solutions. An organization called BALLE (be a localist), is one of several nationwide organizations working to help communities turn toward their already existing growth potential.
Borrowing from some of the existing BALLE guidance, we structured this conference to help our local economic development professionals, politicians, teachers and board members make the changes here to support the people and businesses here.
The conference will be in downtown Ithaca, September 28th and 29th.
If you would like to attend, please click on the button below to register. We offer a sliding scale so that individuals and those from smaller organizations can also attend. Coffee, snacks and lunches will be included. Please list any dietary restrictions when you register.
About our Speaker
Our guest speaker will be Bruce Seifer, the longest serving economic development public official in the state of Vermont. He began working for the City of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) at the office’s inception in 1983. He led the City of Burlington’s Economic Development efforts since 1985. During that time he pursued policies that brought Burlington into the strong economic position it currently has – an unemployment rate between 2-3% and an extremely low commercial vacancy rate.
Mr. Seifer has since published a book about building sustainable communities, and consults with cities, non-profits, and local economic development offices about how to learn from the lessons of Burlington.
An interview and podcast about his experience in Burlington can be found here, if you’d like more information.
In what is hopefully only the beginning for successful fundraising, Civil Advocacy Project is hosting a Wizarding Weekend Divination Celebration in Ithaca, New York. We are excited to join in a fun Halloween tradition, celebrating the talents of a certain young wizard with a scar on his forehead. And giving us lots of opportunity for dressing up, eating candy, and raising money for a good cause.
Every dollar raised at the Divination Celebration will go to support Civil Advocacy Project’s activity in the area. I hope to see you all there!
Civil Advocacy Project is able to provide micro-entrepreneurship assistance to indigent New Yorkers. We are off to a great start in New York State, and look forward to providing many years of service there.