A Macro-Impact on Microentrepreneurs

Since 2012, MoFo lawyers in several U.S. offices and practice groups have been facilitating the efforts of San Francisco-based nonprofit Working Solutions.

Focusing on businesses owned by low-income individuals, women, and minorities, Working Solutions seek to strengthen the Bay Area’s economy, job market, and communities by providing loans and other resources to small, promising businesses that otherwise might have trouble securing financial backing.

Supervised by San Francisco-based financial transactions group partner Jeff Kayes, MoFo associates Lance Peterson and Elizabeth Ho coordinated drafting transaction documents for the $5,000 to $50,000 loans. Working Solutions extended loans to companies including Flower Child Consignment, Cumaica Coffee, and Twin Dogs Farms, a Bay Area farm that sells locally sourced, chemical-free produce.

The work is decidedly different from the transactional work done for paying clients — which usually involves complicated agreements between large, sophisticated parties. But, says Lance, the Working Solutions transactions that MoFo lawyers have facilitated “regularly implicated lien creation and perfection issues, subordination and intercreditor issues, and, more recently, default and remedies exercise matters.”

Beyond performing transactional work on more than 80 loans to date, MoFo attorneys conduct training sessions for the nonprofit’s staff. Adam Lewis and Kristin Hiensch have advised on handling borrower defaults and exercising remedies on defaulted loans. Similarly, a training session led by Lance and Elizabeth resulted in Working Solutions improving its lien creation and perfection-related protocols, leading to more meaningful credit underwriting decisions.

macro1 San Francisco partner Jeff Kayes enjoys a cup of coffee from Cumaica Coffee, a Bay Area business that received a startup loan from Working Solutions.

macro2 San Francisco associates Elizabeth Ho and Kristin Hiensch show off their Tree poses on a magic yoga mat, which was financed through a Working Solutions loan on which both lawyers provided pro bono legal advice.