Fifty by Fifty – Northwest Cooperative Development Center Launches Legacy Project

From Fifty by Fifty:

Thurston County, where the Northwest Cooperative Development Center is located, has nearly 2,000 businesses owned by baby boomers age 60 and over. These businesses employ nearly 15,000 people in a county of just over 250,000 residents. These kinds of numbers spurred the NWCDC and The Washington Grange to apply for funds from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program to educate business advisors across Washington, Oregon, and Idaho on the feasibility and benefits of employee ownership. “Many of these business owners don’t have a succession plan,” says Executive Director of NWCDC Diane Gasaway. “The data shows that only about 20 percent will find a buyer. If most of these businesses close, thousands of jobs will be lost.”

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