A new research project, led by Professor Jeremy McClane and co-investigators Verity Winship, Bob Lawless, and Melissa Graebner (Gies College of Business), has received a $159,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected businesses of all sizes, particularly small business entrepreneurs. In addition to economic harms, small businesses often lack access to legal resources that would help them navigate issues raised by the pandemic and assist in economic recovery. The project will examine small business’ access to legal advice by generating knowledge about legal challenges they face. As well, this research will assess the effectiveness of different methods of disseminating legal information to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding covers interviews with small business owners, a large-scale survey, and a randomized controlled trial of self-help legal materials for small businesses. A team of law students will assist on the project. Findings will provide insight into the ability of small business entrepreneurs to utilize and understand the law during the COVID-19 pandemic.