ASBN – How Employee Ownership Can Reshape the Economic Outlook of South Atlanta’s Minority Neighborhoods

From the Atlanta Small Business Network:

When it comes to small businesses and entrepreneurship, Atlanta is where business owners go to thrive. However, the story is not as bright for all of the city’s citizens. While Atlanta boasts a booming economy for most, the city became the number one most unequal large city in the country on Bloomberg’s 2017 list. Almost 10 percent of households within Atlanta are making less than $10,000. Unfortunately, it is no secret that many of these locations hit by the city’s income inequality are in areas lived in by many minority populations

However, a new initiative is looking to change the trajectory of these areas. Many of these neighborhoods are anchored by minority-owned small businesses. As a result, The National League of Cities and Democracy at Work Institute are looking to offer support to these companies to foster economic prosperity in these areas. 

The Shared Equity in Economic Development program (SEED), seeks to address an issue that plagues many minority-owned small businesses and the neighborhoods that surround them. As small business owners in these areas begin to retire, many times, there is no set succession plan in place to pass these businesses off to someone else. 

The SEED Program is set to aid city governments in helping to promote and facilitate employee ownership to combat this rising issue. The long-term goal of the program is to help communities of color, immigrants, and individuals who work in low-wage industries build wealth and assets. The program accomplishes this by providing outreach, education, and assistance regarding employee and co-op ownership. 

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