A Maryland lawyer since 1985, graduate of Duke Law School and the Johns Hopkins University, Lavine is the local lawyer with big firm talent to help your small business.
If your small business can benefit from big firm talent, contact Matt P. Lavine.
LEGAL SERVICES FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESSSince 1986, Lavine has been litigating contract disputes throughout Maryland, and this experience proves that strong legal advice can avoid most disputes. Further, for small businesses, the time and expense of litigation diminish success in the courtroom. Legal disputes too often arise from a business owner’s failure to gain strong legal counsel.
As the lawyer for your small business, Matt Lavine will develop agreements that encourage all parties to perform their duties fully.
ATTORNEY MATT P. LAVINE: FOR YOUR BUSINESS
- Employee Manuals
- Employment Agreements
- Non Disclosure Agreements
- Licensing Agreements
- Franchise Agreements
- Corporate governance documents
SUCCESS IN THE PANDEMIC – AND BEYONDIn the best of times, small businesses were forced to fight against enormous corporate entities that were transforming every aspect of the economy. Two generations ago, restaurant franchises changed the way Americans thought about dining. One generation ago, Walmart crushed local retail. Now, as Amazon has begun to dominate everything, the pandemic accelerated its destruction of local businesses.
How to survive and even flourish?
First, do not deny the problem. Marylanders are still dying from the effects of covid-19, and your operations must adjust to these fears. Success depends on recognizing the legitimacy of this fear.
Second, the virus has already lingered long enough to alter Americans’ habits. Use video to bolster your business’s personal touch. A technology firm, for example, rarely needs in-person contact with a customer. But switch from email to videoconference. A restaurant can do more than promise safety – stream video to show servers interacting with customers.
Third, after the pandemic ends, Amazon will still be finding ways to dominate. Your local business can succeed when enough people feel good about doing business locally. Build more than a customer base. Build a community.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESSThe pandemic has accelerated the changing fundamentals faster than the law can react to the changes. Use the advantages of small businesses to change rapidly. Emphasize connections to the community of employees, vendors and customers. Create an environment that recognizes the human preference for safe, social interaction.
Consider these examples of addressing old laws in the new economy:
Workers’ Compensation. Maryland’s Emergency Order directs everyone to wear masks. Compliance in the workplace can interfere with a worker’s normal range of vision. Wearing masks may risk more accidents at work, but not wearing masks can spread the disease among your workers. Both situations can result in Workers’ Compensation claims. Employment Discrimination. The loss of revenue created by the pandemic and the Emergency Orders can force a business to make difficult decisions about employment. Public health data indicate that age and race are among the factors related to the impact of the coronavirus. Business owners and managers can not use this data as a pretense to engage in unlawful employment practices.
Landlords and other Vendors. Restrictions on occupancy reduce the viability of restaurants and other retail businesses. With fewer customers permitted in an establishment, businesses must adapt. Restaurants, with slim margins, can not survive with a 50% occupancy limit. Traditional contract law exempts obligations in emergencies, but negotiating with vendors can be more efficient. After all, a failed business pays no rent, and new businesses are unlikely to begin in a pandemic.
LOCAL LAWYER FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
While fighting for your business’s survival, ethical considerations may seem a luxury. However, business ethics, properly understood, can help your business not merely survive but flourish long after the pandemic ends. Read more about Business Ethics in the Pandemic here.
Rather than wait for government policies to drive your business into closing, pursue your remedies now.
CONTACT MATT P. LAVINE, ESQ.
Contact Matt P. Lavine, Esq. for legal help to sustain your Maryland small business in the pandemic and beyond.