We are entering a small business crisis. Shelter in Place orders have been a necessary tool to stop disease transmission. But for many small businesses that provide necessary services in our communities they have also reduced revenues and stretched cash flow to the breaking point. Many will not recover. All of this is compounded by the fact that a disproportionate number of small businesses are owned by baby boomers who were already thinking of retiring.
Over the past three years, Cooperative Development Services has been studying how greater use of worker co-op strategies might allow existing businesses to continue to serve communities, support local tax base, and provide meaningful employment. Startups are certainly an option, but conversions of existing businesses to cooperative ownership seem more straightforward. In this process a willing owner sells the business to a co-op formed by the employees.
We invite you to make a tax-deductible contribution through Giving Tuesday to support our work in helping workers and owners wisely pursue this approach where it economic and business sense to do so.