'Pop-up' legal clinic helps businesses damaged after riots, looting

Ellen Galles
Updated: July 06, 2020 06:14 PM
Created: June 30, 2020 05:32 PM

It's been weeks since countless Twin Cities businesses were damaged or destroyed in the unrest that followed the death of George Floyd. However, many business owners are still trying to navigate the red tape of recovering and rebuilding.

Trevon Ellis, who had a barbershop in north Minneapolis, is one of them.

"I felt lost. I had lost everything, even some of my tools from barber school that had sentimental value," Ellis said.

Now, a newly-formed "pop-up" legal clinic is helping some business owners get back on their feet.

It began informally with a few attorneys from the downtown Minneapolis firm Fredrikson and Byron, P.A. and is becoming more organized and expansive. In the past month, they've worked pro bono with about 20 different business owners.

"Sometimes they need contract advice, sometimes they need help with an insurance claim, sometimes they need help with landlords," said Edgar Ocampo, an employment and labor attorney with Fredrikson and Byron, P.A.

"They've actually informed me about a lot of things so I am educated legally on certain things about being a business owner and renting space," said Ellis.

The clinic has walk-in hours at the Midtown Global Market every week. You can also call 612-492-8078 or email legalhelp@fredlaw.com for more information.

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