Las Cruces Sun News – With imagination, workers’ cooperatives can diversify economies — and build democracy

From the Las Cruces Sun News:

Two bills making their way through New Mexico’s legislative session, SB 419 and HB 481, would budget $200,000 for “activities to promote and develop cooperative forms of business,” including “training and technical assistance to create and maintain cooperative businesses.” At this writing, the house bill has passed committee, while the senate bill awaits a hearing. The effort is well worth Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature. A small appropriation for teaching workers how to found and manage enterprises is a large human investment. Cooperative enterprises (or “co-ops”) come in different shapes. There are purchasing co-ops, in which businesses and local governments pool their buying power; co-ops where owners jointly process and/or market products; cooperatives that sell goods and services to consumer-owners; or combinations of these. There are also worker-owned and managed enterprises, in which the employees are the owners and perform the function of a board of directors. Another way to describe these are “labor-managed firms.”

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