Colorado Legislature passes measure to promote employee-owned businesses
Colorado is about to get into the business of teaching individuals how to pass along their businesses to their employees. The state Legislature has passed a bill that that requires the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade to promote the employee-owned business model. The bill now goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper for his signature.
The measure directs the Colorado OEDIT to operate a revolving-loan program to help small businesses transition into employee ownership. Funded by gifts, grants and donations, the program is set up to help at least 20 businesses but could aid more if they don’t borrow the maximum amount. The employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) model is rising in popularity as baby boomers who have run small companies for decades look to retire but don’t just want to sell their business to larger corporations.