BizGrow provides free legal assistance, business support, and technical assistance to minority, immigrant, and women business owners—ensuring they encounter fewer obstacles and more opportunities.
Growing wealth in historically disadvantaged communities is a critical civil rights issue. For more than 20 years, we have helped close the wealth gap by fueling equitable economic growth and increasing access to economic justice. Our programs include free legal representation, technical assistance, and workshops for small business owners on subjects such as entity formation, contracts, taxes, leases, and intellectual property.
The small business owners we support have big dreams, but limited resources. From family-owned restaurants to green economy startups, they play an important role in their local communities—helping individuals achieve self-sufficiency, creating jobs, and contributing to the vibrancy of our Commonwealth.
Growing a business takes courage, creativity, and commitment. With our support, local business owners can put down firm roots based on sound advice—and thrive.
This is business law for the public good.
This is economic justice in action.
This is LCR | BizGrow.
LCR | BizGrow releases groundbreaking reports to support minority-owned businesses.
Empowering Cities to Accelerate Equitable Growth: A State Policy Blueprint for Inclusive Municipal Contracting (July 2022)
View the research from MassInc and LCR →
The BizGrow Conference is our flagship annual event. This free, one-day experience provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with dozens of workshops and legal consultations with attorneys who specialize in business issues.
FoodBiz 101: One of our most popular programs, this accelerator helps aspiring food entrepreneurs turn their vision into reality. Each session is taught by an industry expert and covers a different topic, such as permitting, business planning, and marketing, as well as food-specific subjects, including recipe scaling and labeling. At the conclusion of the series, participants present their business pitches to a panel of experts and graduate ready to live out their dreams as new business owners. FoodBiz is run in partnership with Goodwin LLP and CommonWealth Kitchen.
BizGrow Launch Series: In partnership with Roxbury Community College and Bunker Hill Community College, this seminar series provides a comprehensive overview of how to start and run a successful business of your own from writing a business plan and managing legal issues to speaking publicly, comfortably, and confidently about your business. Recent participants include an entrepreneur who launched a composting service, a life coach, and an event planner.
Nuts-and-Bolts Workshops: BizGrow offers free, standalone technical assistance workshops that touch on some of the most common legal issues that entrepreneurs encounter, including entity formation, contracts, and leases. As all business owners know, legal questions can arise throughout the life of a business. Our nuts-and-bolts workshops are also designed to address the kinds of legal issues that small businesses face while operating and growing, including intellectual property, employment law, and financing.
Legal Clinics: BizGrow legal clinics provide business owners with free, one-on-one consultations with leading attorneys from major law firms. During these clinics, business owners can ask specific questions about their business and receive the guidance they need to succeed.
Free Legal Representation: In certain cases, we can connect aspiring entrepreneurs and current business owners with volunteer attorneys for more individualized legal support. Regardless of the stage of a business whether it is just an idea or a fully formed entity, interested entrepreneurs and business owners can submit an intake form. We will contact qualifying individuals within three business days.
BizGrow Success Stories
Each year, we work with hundreds of inspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses. Their success stories embody the heart and soul of BizGrow.
Teresa Maynard graduated from our inaugural FoodBiz 101 series. She came to us with the dream of one day owning her own bakery. After completing the series—as well as participating in our workshops and legal clinics—Teresa achieved her dream and launched Sweet Teez Bakery. Today, her bakery has major contracts with multiple grocery and specialty stores across New England.
Carolina Salinas and Carolina Garcia, both immigrants, enrolled in FoodBiz 101 aspiring to build a business selling Venezuelan arepas so they can share their culture with their new community. At the end of the series, Las Carolinas was born. Fueled by their hard work and determination, Las Carolinas continued to work with us, attending our weekly workshops and using our services to form their entity, draft contracts, and protect their intellectual property. Today, you can find Las Carolinas selling their delicious arepas in Somerville.
Duane Osborn has been attending BizGrow programming and clinics for two years to help develop his cart business, which sells food, souvenirs, and novelty items. During this time, he expanded his operations from a single cart at South Station to multiple locations across several MBTA stations. Recently, he was awarded a contract to sell hot dogs outside TD Garden during Bruins games.
Tiffany Tate is a long-time participant in BizGrow workshops and legal clinics. Over the course of our partnership, she has grown Linger, her online fashion magazine, into an award-winning brand, hired staff, and been featured by media outlets.
Diana and Angelica Cardona are the sister duo behind local favorite ManiNuts and their flagship product—delicious roasted peanuts coated in sesame seeds. The sisters participated in our BizGrow Launch series at Roxbury Community College. Since then, ManiNuts has found great success and now distributes and sells their products at 25 different vendor locations across Greater Boston.
Resources for Small Businesses
We offer a variety of resources for small business owners:
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News and Events
Sep 21, 23Faneuil Hall Shopkeepers of Color Targeted and Criminalized
Aug 02, 23Defending Minority-Owned Businesses In Federal Court
Jul 14, 23City of Boston Retreats from Diversity Efforts
Jun 21, 23Lawsuit to Enforce Civil Rights Laws in Boston
Oct 31, 22LCR’s Civil Rights Summit
Jul 15, 22LCR’s Legal Warriors at Lav Law
Apr 12, 22Displaced Minority Businesses Call on City to Halt Roxbury Development
Jan 13, 22Applauding Boston’s Vaccine Mandate
Jan 10, 22Boston’s Urgent Need to Diversify Public Contracts
Dec 02, 21Statement on Boston’s Sheltered Market Program
Nov 16, 21Supporting Local Vaccination Efforts Through Small Businesses
Oct 25, 21Open Letter To Boston’s Mayoral Candidates On Civil Rights Priorities
Sep 17, 21Massachusetts Fails Minority Contractors (Again)
Jul 29, 21Summer Justice
Jul 22, 21Over 300 Minority-Owned Businesses Attend BizGrow Conference
Jul 06, 21BizGrow Conference Schedule
Jun 16, 21Celebrating 20 Years of Economic Justice
Mar 30, 21BizGrow Highlights 20 Small Businesses