Yes – As Boomers Retire, Mom-and-Pop Businesses Convert to Co-ops to Save Jobs

From Yes Magazine:

Five years later, things are better for Rock City, though certainly not perfect. And at age 64, Ward is ready to retire. With help from Rob Brown of the Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) in Maine, she is now working on the details of transitioning Rock City to worker ownership.

“I had three goals I wanted to achieve, and I think a co-op can do those,” she says. “Obviously, my own financial security has to be the number one priority. Then, survival of the business, as it’s a really important part of our small town. And to keep it in the hands of the people who’ve made it a success.” Ward says the majority of her 23 employees have worked with her for at least 5 years, some close to 20, and, for the most part, they are people who wouldn’t be able to own their own business without this opportunity. “I have no children. They’re my family,” she says.

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