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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Swan

Supporting Small Businesses through What Comes Next

We're all doing what we can to support small businesses through the uncertainty of this pandemic. We're thrilled to see the ways people are promoting and supporting businesses we know, love, and trust today and into the future.

Off the Beaten Path bookstore raised $20,000 for its staff and store in just a few days. The outpouring of support for restaurant workers is inspiring. The conversations encouraging people to shop locally are important.

This will keep money invested in our community.

Still, small businesses also need strength, support, and knowledge of savvy leaders if they're going to thrive in our world after COVID-19. While the virus will wane, the economic effects are going to be substantial and lasting.

Swan Law is a small, local business. It's owned and operated right here in Steamboat Springs, employing four women who are raising their children here in town. We know Northwest Colorado. This is our home.

That's why we're best prepared to support other local businesses. Here are a few ways we can help:

1. Formalizing Businesses. If you've never had the time to incorporate your business properly, or you're concerned your business structure has changed and you might receive different tax benefits, we can help you determine the best structure for your business and implement it for you. With an attorney's help, you will reduce liability exposure. We'll keep your business up-to-date, ready to face curve balls and stormy seas.

2. Business Investing. If you're considering buying or selling a business, consult an attorney to get the most for your money and reduce surprises. If your business is borrowing money or adding investors, you need the right paper trail to protect yourself. And if you are putting hard-earned cash into a business, you need proper documentation to safeguard your investment.

An experienced attorney in this area knows what needs to be included. One of the biggest mistakes in this area is taking a document at face value, because most people do not have the experience to know what's missing and what ought to be put in writing to protect themselves.

If you don't think attorneys add value to business transactions, you have the wrong attorney.

3. Business Succession Planning. Busy business owners don't feel they have time to plan, but if something happened to you, your business would get tied up in probate courts and could take years and many thousands of dollars to sort out ownership and other issues.

Without planning, your lifetime of hard work could lose all its value in event of your death or disability.

Most every business has value. It's our job to help you capture that value and preserve it for your retirement, your children and grandchildren. It's also our job to make a plan that will work if you are disabled.

Northwest Colorado is unique in that we are a wildly popular destination lifestyle. Your best succession plan might be an insider sale to key employees, but then again, it might be fulfilling a dream for an urbanite, someone who’s been on a corporate treadmill and reached escape velocity. Maybe there’s a better option to pivot your business as you age instead of selling it. We know the difference, and we know how to help you get ready for a new chapter in life with no surprises.

4. Contract and Other Agreements. We don't want to see any of our local businesses getting into legal disputes, and the best way to avoid this is with clear contracts and legal agreements. We consult with business owners to make sure they are operating within laws and avoiding liabilities as much as possible. If you have a contract or other agreement needing review, get in touch with our office.

5. Connections and Referrals. We've been in town a long time, so our connections are strong. We also take the time to get to know you, and we can point you to great local resources for insurance, financial planning, accounting, and other financial services. We will help you connect with the right person right away, saving you time and money.

We're dedicated to helping small businesses, and not just through the crisis but beyond it. It won't be easy to navigate the impending financial issues ahead. Together, we can weather the storm.

Assemble the team now that will be valuable for your business for years to come. Contact Swan Law to learn more: 970-879-1572 or email

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