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Becca Broches

2015, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Becca Broches

Becca Broches

Name of Host Organization: Start Small Think Big
City, State: Bronx, New York
Issue area: Community Economic Development/Microfinance and Related Transactional Legal Projects
Sponsors: The Ottinger Foundation

The Project

Becca will promote asset accumulation and food access by providing transactional legal services to owners of food businesses in the South Bronx and other New York City food deserts who cannot afford legal assistance

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
This project addresses the needs of low-income NYC residents for more fruitful economic opportunities and enhanced access to food retail. While running a small business can be an effective way for individuals to build financial security, doing so successfully requires sound legal advice. Small businesses also strengthen local communities by creating jobs and providing goods and services such as food. Food businesses have particularly pronounced legal needs; to operate in NYC, a food business must navigate regulations proffered by more than eighteen city, state, and federal agencies. Many low-income entrepreneurs cannot afford a lawyer and go without legal representation. Unfortunately, unaddressed legal needs can be catastrophic for a small business. Low-income food entrepreneurs need no-cost legal services to transform their businesses from liabilities to assets.
The Right Person For This Project
Becca is the right person for this project because:
• She became passionate about community economic development and economic justice while growing up in New York City
• Having previously worked in a transactional setting as a student attorney with the Harrison Institute for Housing and Community Development, Becca has the legal training necessary to make this project a success
• Her extensive background in civil legal services - including advocating for clients' access to affordable housing, public benefits, and social services - and coursework in Poverty Law and Food Law have prepared her to meet clients' needs in a holistic and compassionate manner
• Working as a judicial clerk after law school has sharpened her ability to identify points of vulnerability in business transactions
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Becca will:
• Begin representing Start Small Think Big's existing food business clients
• Engage new clients by building partnerships with community economic development corporations, business incubators, and city agencies
• Develop a Food Business Legal Health Assessment to identify food businesses' legal needs at intake
• Coordinate a first round of trainings for pro bono attorneys and workshops for food entrepreneurs