May 2, 2018: New York Bar Foundation Receives Gift to Establish Business Law Section Small Business Support Fund

Business Law
Members of the Business Law Section leadership with the Foundation.  Left  to right: Deborah Auspelmyer, Foundation Executive;  Anthony Q. Fletcher, Esq. Section Secretary; Kathleen A. Scott, Esq., Section Chair; Stuart B. Newman, Esq.,  NY Business Law Journal Editorial Advisory Board Chair and Advisor Emeritus;  Peter W. LaVigne, Esq. , Vice-Chair of the section; and Drew R. Jaglom, Esq., Treasurer.

ALBANY – The Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association has made a gift of $12,500 to The New York Bar Foundation to be used to provide funding for grant awards via the Foundation for programs that assist with business-related matters.

Through the fund and the Foundation’s grant program, the Business Law Section assists military veterans, minorities and other underserved New York residents seeking to establish their own small business in New York on such matters as form of organization, basic commercial agreements, shareholder, partnership or operating agreements, and intellectual property.

“Stuart Newman has been a long-time member of and advisor to the Business Law Section, and he saw a need for a grant like this to provide legal advice to small business owners, and in particular targeting veterans establishing small businesses.  When Stuart proposed setting up such a grant through The Bar Foundation, the Executive Committee immediately and enthusiastically endorsed it,” said Section Chair Kathleen Scott. She noted that throughout 2018, Section leadership will be focusing on getting the word out about this opportunity to veteran organizations.

“I see this program as a triple win—for veterans, for the New York economy, and for the Bar Association,” Newman added.

New York Bar Foundation President John H. Gross, said, “We are grateful to the Business Law Section for recognizing the need for this type of assistance and the impact business development can have on a community.  This gift demonstrates the on-going collaborative efforts between The Foundation and the New York State Bar Association and our ability to work together to make a difference for those in need of legal services.”

The Foundation presented nearly $700,000 in grants to more than 100 programs across New York State in 2018.  Through the grant cycle, the Business Law Section small business support funds were allocated to Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS) and Start Small. Think Big., Inc. 

VOLS will receive support for its Microenterprise Project. Through the project, pro bono attorneys help low-income micro-entrepreneurs and small business overcome legal obstacles to that they can launch and grow their businesses, creating jobs and increasing incomes in struggling areas of New York City. Thousands of low-income entrepreneurs try to launch their own businesses in New York City each year but many lack access to lawyers who can help them through the process of starting a business. Clients of VOLS' Microenterprise Project need legal assistance in a wide variety of areas of business law, including: business formation (incorporation); intellectual property; contracts; commercial real estate; and licensing and permitting.

Start Small. Think Big., Inc. will receive support for its Small Business Legal Project.   The Small Business Legal Project is based on the idea that starting a business is a principal way for low-income people to accumulate assets and achieve personal financial stability. Successful self-employment can help people exit poverty and build wealth, and small businesses help to anchor communities by providing diverse goods and services responsive to local needs. Building a sustainable business requires legal assistance, but legal counsel is costly, so low-income entrepreneurs frequently go without. Businesses lacking a sound legal infrastructure are more vulnerable to business-related liabilities and less likely to profit from business relationships or to obtain loans, investments, and/or large contracts.

“Small business owners have great ideas, business savvy and the willingness to work hard. Start Small. Think Big adds a crucial ingredient: legal advice to set the business on the path to success. We are proud to support this great program,” said Section Vice Chair Peter LaVigne.

The Business Law Section, with a membership of approximately 3,500, is one of the largest Sections of the New York State Bar Association. Its members consist of attorneys whose practice involves some aspect of commerce or finance although the focus of the practice of the members is quite diverse – ranging from securities to consumer finance. To accommodate this breadth of practice, the Business Law Section is composed of committees which offer practitioners with commercial clients information in such diverse areas as: Bankruptcy, banking, corporations law, franchise distribution and licensing, derivatives and structured products, securities regulation and the constantly evolving area of technology and venture law. 

The New York Bar Foundation, a nonprofit, philanthropic organization, receives charitable contributions from individuals, law firms, corporations and other entities. It provides funding for the following purposes: increasing public understanding of the law; improving the justice system and the law; facilitating the delivery of legal services; and enhancing professional competence and ethics. For more information about The New York Bar Foundation, visit


Contact: Deborah Auspelmyer 
Foundation Executive