Beyond “Unprecedented”: Helping Small Businesses Survive—and Thrive

In episode four of Columbia Law’s new limited podcast series, hosted by Professor Eric Talley, Professors Lynnise Pantin and Tim Wu discuss the obstacles and opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic—and government’s role in helping them.

Line art drawing of professors Lynnise Pantin and Tim Wu on a green background

“Everything Must Go.” “Permanently Closed.” “Space for Rent.” These signs of the time sum up the plight of many small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the federal government’s Payroll Protection Program and the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program helped businesses across the United States in the early months of the crisis, more than 100,000 of them have closed their doors forever, according to research by Yelp. 

In the fourth episode of “Beyond Unprecedented”: The Post-Pandemic Economy, host Eric Talley welcomes Columbia Law Professors Lynnise E. Pantin ’03 and Tim Wu to discuss the types of assistance state and municipal lawmakers and the federal government can or should provide to keep small businesses afloat and why they are optimistic about the future for entrepreneurs.

(Download a transcript.)

Stay tuned for new episodes of Beyond “Unprecedented” this fall. Subscribe and learn more about the series

Meet the Experts

Line art drawing of Professor Lynnise Pantin on a blue background

Lynnise E. Pantin ’03 is the founding director of the Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic at Columbia Law School. Her scholarship focuses on the systemic socioeconomic barriers faced by entrepreneurs of color and those of modest means. Her recent journal articles include “The Economic Justice Imperative for Transactional Law Clinics” in the Villanova Law Review and “The Wealth Gap and the Racial Disparities in the Startup Ecosystem” in the Saint Louis University Law Journal. She received a B.A. from Pomona College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. 

“We need a real small-business survival package that’s not a program just to protect paychecks.”
—Professor Lynnise Pantin

Line art drawing of Professor Tim Wu on an orange background

Tim Wu is Julius Silver Professor of Law, Science and Technology at Columbia Law School and is widely known for coining the term “net neutrality” in 2002 and championing equal access to the internet. He is author of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. He has a from McGill University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. 

“I do feel like there’s this problem that we’re going to all sink together if we don’t learn to swim together.”
—Professor Tim Wu

Line drawing of Eric Talley on a green background

Eric Talley, Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, writes and researches at the intersection of corporate law, governance, and finance. As a co-director of the Ira M. Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership, Talley shapes research and programs focused on the future of corporate governance and performance. Talley is a frequent commentator in the national media, and he speaks regularly to corporate boards and regulators on issues pertaining to fiduciary duties, governance, and finance. He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and earned his J.D. and Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University

“Is it a hopeless task to try to triage deserving recipients from less deserving recipients?”
—Professor Eric Talley

About the Series

Beyond “Unprecedented”: The Post Pandemic Economy is produced by the Columbia Law School Office of Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs in conjunction with the Millstein Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership.