This is the inaugural column of the Brown Hatchett & Williams LLP (BHW) bi-monthly column, “The BHW Memo: Legal Strategies and New Business Opportunities.” In partnership with BLACK ENTERPRISE, the goal of this column is to provide innovative and current legal strategies for Black businesses to thrive and achieve expansion and further success. Black business finds itself in a unique situation following the confluence of events in the first half of 2020.
On the one hand, COVID-19 has had a ruinous impact on many U.S. businesses. Add the murder of George Floyd and the rise of a nationwide social justice movements and ongoing protests, the first two quarters of 2020 presented difficult terrain to traverse. The confluence of these events can be viewed as devastating events for businesses across the U.S. as they clearly have been.
They can also be viewed as creating opportunities to pursue renewed and restructured business strategies. Certain legal strategies can be undertaken to allow Black businesses to execute renewed and restructured business strategies to be well-positioned to benefit from opportunities arising in these challenging times.
“It’s about building this country back better.”
— Kamala Harris, US Senator and Vice President Nominee
In the coming weeks, this column will present several of these legal structures for your consideration, detailing in straightforward language how they may be used to promote and grow Black business. These legal strategies include opportunity zone funding (OZF), new market tax credits, employee stock ownership plans, and financial and corporate restructuring. These sophisticated legal tools can be used to reduce the weight of company debt, raise equity capital, provide liquidity for business owners, or help transition ownership to family members or trusted staff so that your business may survive and even expand in these challenging times.
Today’s business landscape is creating opportunities to reimagine, retool, and restructure your business to meet the challenges of the future. There are numerous examples to follow, including NYC restauranteur Luca Di Petro, who renewed his high-end chain of Tony Manhattan restaurants into a food supply and distribution business for health care workers; Ford Motor Company retooled production lines in order to manufacture much-needed ventilators; and innovative companies, such as Graffiti Shield and American Seating, as well as enterprising entrepreneurs, have created new markets as manufacturers and distributors of personnel protective equipment (PPE).
At BHW, we make it our business to understand these complex legal strategies to support our clients’ objectives. In the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing our knowledge.
Brown Hatchett & Williams LLP is a corporate boutique law firm located in New York City. Find us at www.bhwllp.com.