10 Black-owned businesses awarded free legal services through McNees program
May 11, 2023
HARRISBURG, Pa. — (May 11, 2023) McNees Wallace & Nurick announced the 2023 winners of its Legal Equity Advancement Program (LEAP), with 10 Black-owned businesses each receiving a grant for one year’s worth of free legal services from the firm.
The announcement was made Wednesday, May 10, during a reception at Historic King Mansion in Harrisburg to honor the LEAP grant recipients. They are:
- A Concrete Rose Bookbar (Lancaster, Pa.) — the nation’s first Black bookstore, micro-winery, tapas restaurant and intimate performance venue.
- Central Contractors & Redevelopment, LLC (Columbus, Ohio) — a full-service construction company specializing in commercial and residential renovations, new construction, land development, tenant lease buildouts, basement waterproofing and demolition.
- Funema Group, LLC (King of Prussia, Pa.) — a venture capital and private equity firm that aims to help startups and small businesses in emerging markets de-risk their enterprise for sustainable success and investable opportunity.
- Its4Me (Pittsburgh, Pa.) — an information technology consulting company educating the community on how best to utilize mainstream technology through computer technology training and digital marketing.
- Keon Enterprises (Harrisburg, Pa.) — a door-to-door transportation company providing friendly, safe and reliable transport services to Dauphin, York, Lebanon, Cumberland and Perry Counties.
- La Cultura (Harrisburg, Pa.) — a hybrid mix of event space, art gallery and vendors’ market for Black and Brown entrepreneurs, artists and startups.
- Martin Data Solutions, LLC (York, Pa.) — a mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems engineering and design company.
- Skillet2Plate Soul Bistro (York, Pa.) — a restaurant serving modern, southern-style cuisine such as chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, collard greens, cabbage and homemade peach tea.
- Taco Amigos (Harrisburg, Pa.) — an authentic Mexican restaurant serving tacos, quesadillas and more using traditional Mexican ingredients.
- Whole Heart Grief & Life Resource Center (Frederick, Md.) — a non-profit organization that helps individuals identify their needs, understand their options and make positive choices while managing the issues of life, loss, leadership and legacy.
Now in its third year, LEAP helps Black-owned and Black-controlled businesses overcome barriers to entry that are caused, in part, by institutional racism. Each business chosen for the program is awarded one year of free legal services.
McNees founded LEAP in southcentral Pennsylvania and last year expanded it to include Columbus, Ohio. Starting this year, LEAP also now extends to parts of western, central and eastern Pennsylvania as well as Frederick, Md.
“We are excited to have geographically expanded the program so significantly, with the goal of delivering legal services to support sustainable growth and long-term success,” LEAP Co-Chair Ade Bakare said. “This is a strong group of companies that we are thrilled to collaborate and partner with.”
LEAP awardees gain access to nearly every practice area at McNees to help them with a wide range of business needs, including business organization or reorganization, tax, employment, real estate, intellectual property, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certification, and contract review, among others. Recipients are also offered educational webinars/seminars and networking opportunities.
To date, 14 Black-owned or Black-controlled businesses have received free legal services through the program. LEAP clients from 2022 included a Columbus-based technology and coding boot camp, an affordable housing development company in York, Pa., and a healthy food and juice bar in Annville, Pa., to name a few.
“At the conclusion of this program year, we will have engaged with 24 Black-owned businesses through LEAP. We hope our services provide each LEAP client with meaningful support to meet their business goals,” LEAP Co-Chair Esch McCombie said. “It has been a highlight of my career to work with these business owners through this program, and I’m hopeful that LEAP has positively affected our business communities. If it has, that success is due in large part to the LEAP clients that helped make this program what it has become.”
To learn more about LEAP, visit www.mcneesleap.com.
McNees is a multidisciplinary law firm founded in 1935 with more than 150 attorneys representing businesses, associations, institutions, municipalities and individuals. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Devon, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Scranton, State College and York, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Frederick and Towson, Md.; and Washington, D.C. McNees is a member of the ALFA International Global Legal Network.