Black-owned firms tapped for legal services program

The owners of A Concrete Rose Bookbar -- Evita Colon, far left, and Solise White, second from left -- pose with Esch McCombie, third from left, and Ade Bakare, lawyers for McNees Wallace & Nurick and co-chairs of the firm's Legal Equity Advancement Program. (photo/submitted)

McNees Wallace & Nurick has picked 10 small, Black-owned businesses to receive free legal services in the third annual installment of the Harrisburg-based law firm’s program to overcome barriers to business growth and success.

  • The small businesses, introduced last week at a reception at the King Mansion in Harrisburg, hail from across Central Pennsylvania, as well as from eastern and western Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio, where Harrisburg-based McNees also has offices.
  • “We are excited to have geographically expanded the program so significantly, with the goal of delivering legal services to support sustainable growth and long-term success,” said Ade Bakare, a McNees attorney and co-chair of the firm’s Legal Equity Advancement Program. “This is a strong group of companies that we are thrilled to collaborate and partner with.”

The local companies:

  • A Concrete Rose Bookbar. Located at 910 S. Duke St. in Lancaster, the micro-winery, tapas restaurant and small performance venue is owned and operated by Evita Colon and Solise White.
  • Keon Enterprises. Based in Harrisburg, the company offers door-to-door transportation company services in Dauphin, York, Lebanon, Cumberland and Perry counties. It is owned and operated by Omara Reichi. 
  • La Cultura. Located at 214 Verbeke St. in Harrisburg, it is a combination event space, art gallery and vendors’ market for Black and Brown entrepreneurs, artists and startups. The venue is owned and operated by Elyse Irvis. 
  • Martin Data Solutions. Based in York, the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems engineering and design company is owned and operated by Wayne and Lakeisa Martin. 
  • Skillet2Plate Soul Bistro. Located at 221 W. Philadelphia St. in York, the restaurant serves modern, southern-style cuisine such as chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, collard greens, cabbage and homemade peach tea. The owners/operators are Terrence and Lauren Days. 
  • Taco Amigos. The Mexican restaurant at 200 N. Second St. in Harrisburg serves tacos, quesadillas and more. It is owned and operated by Marcel Child and Victoria Valencia. 

And the others:

  • Central Contractors & Redevelopment LLC, a construction company in Columbus, Ohio.
  • Funema Group LLC, a venture capital and private equity firm in King of Prussia
  • Its4Me, an IT consulting and training company in Pittsburgh.
  • Whole Heart Grief & Life Resource Center, a nonprofit in Frederick, Maryland.

The background: McNees launched LEAP in 2021 following the social justice protests of 2020.

  • Businesses in the program receive a year’s worth of free legal services, as well as other opportunities for mentoring and networking.
  • The 10 companies selected this year join 14 participants from the first two years.
  • This is the first year the law firm has named companies from western and eastern Pennsylvania and Maryland.
  • Columbus, Ohio, was included in last year’s program.

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