Urban Government Support
Several city governments throughout the United States have invested in employee ownership and worker cooperative development as a business retention and job creation strategy.
Examples of communities and municipalities that are supporting cooperative development:
Madison Cooperative Development Coalition
New York City – Worker Cooperative Business Development Initiative
Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance
In 2018, the U.S. passed federal legislation that focuses on worker cooperatives. The Main Street Employee Ownership Act will support small businesses, save jobs, and promote equitable wages.
This legislation, which improves access to capital and technical assistance for employee-owned businesses, greatly helps worker co-ops, with directives for Small Business Administration to:
- Finance the sale of businesses to their employees;
- Work with Small Business Development Centers across the country to provide training and education on employee ownership options; and
- Report on SBA’s lending and outreach to employee-owned businesses.
Rural Cooperative Development Grant
Administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program helps improve the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. Grants are awarded through a national competition. See list of Cooperative Development Centers by state.