Project Equity

www.project-equity.org

Yes – Converting Businesses to Cooperatives Just Got Easier

From Yes! Magazine: As Tom Adams, co-founder of Adams & Chittenden Scientific Glass, started planning his exit into retirement, he knew what he didn’t want to happen. Twenty-six years earlier, Adams was a production manager at a scientific glass blowing company in Berkeley, Calif., when the last of the company’s founders decided to sell the […]

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Mercury News – Workers rising: The push for city-supported worker coops is taking hold in these Bay Area cities

From the Mercury News: When Rendell “Ren” Boguiren got a job in college at a South Bay pizzeria, he wasn’t expecting it would become a career. Now, as a part-owner in the business, he can’t imagine leaving. It was a transition made possible because co-founders Kirk Vartan and his wife, Marguerite Lee, made a decision […]

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Project Equity – Project Equity keeps Berkeley businesses rooted in the local economy

In the first video (above), Jordan Klein, the City of Berkeley’s Economic Development Manager, describes the tremendous potential that employee ownership can offer cities and why Berkeley embraces it. In the second video (above), Jordan describes how Project Equity has helped advance the city’s goal to keep businesses rooted in the local economy. Get the […]

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Truthout – Capitalism Has Failed Immigrants. Can Worker Cooperatives Do Better?

From Truthout: Five years later, Reyes is now A Yard & A Half’s board president. He still works on the field team doing landscaping and hardscaping work, but he now has a much broader range of responsibilities, which include facilitating meetings, developing agendas, and meeting with the executive committee once a month. A Yard & […]

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Fifty by Fifty – SBDC Working Group Pilots Employee Ownership Training

From Fifty by Fifty: The Main Street Employee Ownership Act, passed in August 2018, relies heavily on the nation’s network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) to educate and support business owners in transitioning their companies to employee ownership. But for the most part, SBDC business advisors aren’t familiar with employee ownership. To begin to fill […]

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Huffington Post – This City Has A Radical Plan To Get Rid Of Bosses

From the Huffington Post: In a 4,000-square-foot industrial space tucked away in a West Berkeley neighborhood, a team of glass blowers is hard at work. In one corner, a young man named Sam is repairing a piece of laboratory glassware used for cannabis distillation, the bright orange flames from his lathe dancing just inches from […]

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New Research Details Effects of ‘Silver Tsunami’ on Local Economies and What To Do About It

From Whatcom Talk: Project Equity, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to advancing community economic resiliency, released a report today examining the small business landscape in Washington, and the potential transfer or closure of many of these businesses as baby boomer owners retire over the next 15 years. This data, gathered in partnership with and commissioned by […]

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Commonwealth Hudson Valley – Cooperative Strategies 3: Support Conversions

From: Commonwealth Hudson Valley: In Philadelphia, city officials have teamed up with the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance (PACA) to support coop conversionsalong West Philly’s 52nd Street corridor. The area has one of the densest concentrations of black-owned businesses in the city, and many of the owners are at or beyond retirement age, with no prospects of […]

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Morehead News – Training available for retiring business owners in Morehead

From the Morehead News: More than 26,000 Kentucky businesses, employing more than 300,000 people, are owned by baby boomers, many of whom have not identified the next generation of ownership and could be at risk of closing their businesses when they retire. Transitioning to a form of employee ownership could keep these businesses thriving and […]

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East Bay Express – Berkeley Pledges Support and Funding for Worker Co-ops

From the East Bay Express: Last week, the Cheeseboard’s longtime home committed to a new strategy for fighting economic inequality and building the local economy: city support for worker cooperatives. The Berkeley City Council voted unanimously on Fe.26 to include co-ops in the city’s small-business revolving loan fund; give co-ops, along with women- and minority-owned […]

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Manchester Enterprise – Worker Cooperative Training in Hazard

From The Manchester Enterprise: More than 26,000 Kentucky businesses, employing more than 300,000 people, are owned by baby boomers, many of whom have not identified the next generation of ownership and could be at risk of closing their businesses when they retire. Transitioning to a worker-owned cooperative or other form of employee ownership could keep […]

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NPQ – Nonprofit Takes Leadership Role to Address Business Succession “Tsunami”

From NPQ: Here at NPQ, we have noted that a business ownership succession wave—often called the “silver tsunami”—is rising. According to the nonprofit Project Equity, nationally “baby boomers own 2.34 million businesses, employ 24.7 million people, and have combined annual sales of $5.14 trillion.” Sadly, 80 percent of these businesses lack succession plans. Slowly, awareness of the looming crisis is […]

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San Francisco Chronicle – Nonprofit helps employees take hold of reins as business owners retire

From the San Francisco Chronicle “I’ve been approaching retirement for a long time,” Adams said with a chuckle. “I couldn’t imagine being 80 and carrying on at the same level, but how else do you do it? Sell it to somebody? Close the doors?” Sure, they could sell their glassblowing lathes, torches and ovens, but […]

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Times of San Diego – Employee Ownership and The Promise of Quality Jobs

From the Times of San Diego: In California and nationally, historically low unemployment rates are not a sign of prosperity, but indicatethe arrival of an economy that specializes in creating low-paying, temporary jobs with no benefits or job security. According to a Princeton University study, such positions were responsible for 94 percent of American job growth […]

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NPQ – Nonprofits Shift Baby Boomer Businesses to Worker Ownership in Bid for Community Sustainability

Read full article at Nonprofit Quarterly: At NPQ, we have written about the growing prominence of employee ownership, but mostly from the perspective of the value of preserving businesses and jobs in the community. Still, these community benefits will only be realized if business owners agree to sell to their employees. So, what would drive a business […]

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Entrepreneur – Why an Increasing Number of Retiring Entrepreneurs Are Selling the Business to Their Employees

From Entrepreneur: Baby boomers own about half of all privately-held companies with employees in the United States. The 2.4 million business owners who belong to this aging demographic (one-third of whom have already passed 65) will need to develop sound and sensible exit strategies. As they look to the future, there is an elegant solution […]

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Forbes – Californian City Looks To Keep Its Factories

From Forbes: Project Equity approached Kline and the City of Fremont with a plan to both understand the threat they faced with ageing business owners and also to help get the word out that there that employee ownership could be a viable succession plan for them. “We talk to a lot of businesses to try […]

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Detroit Free Press – Silver Tsunami: Retirements put boomer-owned firms at risk but worker ownership can help

From the Detroit Free Press: We’ve known for a long time that baby boomers are hitting retirement age. Those retirements will drain from the workforce a vast amount of skills and experience. But the loss to the workforce may go beyond the loss of the boomers themselves. Since a huge number of privately held companies […]

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Mountain Xpress – Nonprofit groups to host Aug. 23 session on worker-owned businesses

From Mountain Xpress: Charen’s interest in the idea of cooperative businesses is grounded at home. Her father is 72 years old and has been trying to sell his company for eight years now. The trouble he’s had with selling his business got her wondering: How many local businesses actually sell? From her research of a […]

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IEDC – For Retiring Business Owners, Worker-Owners Can Carry the Torch

From the International Economic Development Council (pdf): For the busy owners of small businesses, short-term pressures often take precedence over long-term planning. That’s why many business owners lack a succession plan to ensure that the enterprise will continue when they’re ready to step down. The stakes are especially high when the firm is a community […]

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Minnesota Star Tribune – Employee Ownership Could be Answer to Exit of Baby Boomer Owners

From the Minnesota StarTribune (pdf): The deal-making crowd is understandably excited about the fees to be earned in helping baby boomers sell their businesses on their way into retirement. None of the business brokers and bankers appear to have yet pointed out what the nonprofit group Nexus Community Partners has been saying, that this big […]

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Marketplace – Baby boomer entrepreneurs hope co-op model will keep business going

From Marketplace.org (pdf) Baby boomer entrepreneurs hope co-op model will keep business going Berkeley’s reclaimed trash company Urban Ore has diverted tons of garbage from the dump and into the hands of customers, and the company has become a key part of Berkeley’s recycling ecosystem. But it could disappear. That’s because the owners of the […]

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PR Log – Soon-to-retire Baby Boomers In Western North Carolina Own ½ Of All Privately-held Businesses

From PR Log: The Industrial Commons and its national partner Project Equity, announced today that almost ½ of Western North Carolina small businesses are owned by aging baby boomers, demonstrating which small businesses in the WNC region are most vulnerable to permanently closing business or consolidating within a few years. It also identifies industries to […]

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San Francisco Chronicle – Employee ownership may help businesses stay open as Boomers retire

From the San Francisco Chronicle: Working at a pizza shop isn’t usually a career move. But for several workers at a San Jose pizzeria, what started as a temporary gig, a first-time job or a side-hustle might soon turn into one of the biggest investments of their lives. A Slice of New York, an authentic […]

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Century Foundation – Reducing Economic Inequality through Democratic Worker-Ownership

From The Century Foundation: Employee-owned companies are a specific type of for-profit business owned by their workers; democratic employee-owned businesses are owned and also run by their workers. As a concept, employee-ownership is primarily about profit-sharing and worker participation. Employee-owned companies allow workers to take home a bigger, fairer share of the fruits of their […]

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Yes – As Boomers Retire, Millions of Small Businesses Will Change Hands. Can We Keep Them Local?

From Yes! Magazine (pdf): As Boomers Retire, Millions of Small Businesses Will Change Hands. Can We Keep Them Local? “We in the “new economy” movement have long talked about the importance of employee ownership, due to its deep benefits to workers, businesses, and society; and we’ve talked about the potential opportunity we have to tap […]

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Shelterforce – Employee Ownership: A Solution that Preserves Retiring Owners’ Businesses

From Shelterforce: Reflecting growing enthusiasm for worker co-ops, the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy—held last month in Worcester, Massachusetts—attracted a record 300-plus participants. One item on the agenda: the possibility of creating new worker cooperatives through conversions in which employees buy a business from an exiting owner. The stakes are large—and not just for worker co-op advocates. Indeed, literally millions of […]

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