On May 20, 2021, Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) introduced a series of small business bills to remove barriers for underserved entrepreneurs and businesses, including the Capital for Cooperatives Act (S.1736).
The Capital for Cooperatives Act would require the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to change existing regulations for loan guarantees to cooperatives so that risk can be adequately mitigated without requiring a personal or entity guarantee from the cooperative. The requirement for a personal or entity guarantee is incompatible with the cooperative business model and has effectively prohibited co-ops from fairly accessing the affordable financing tools provided by SBA.
“Running a small business is tough. It’s tougher when federal resources overwhelmingly go to a select group of people, businesses and places,” Hickenlooper said in a May 20 press release. “We must break down barriers that diverse businesses and businesspeople face and that’s exactly what these bills do.”
The Capital for Cooperatives Act builds on the progress made by cooperatives in recent years, including the passage of the Main Street Employee Ownership Act and a 2020 House of Representatives Small Business Committee hearing.
“NCBA CLUSA and the cooperative community is immensely appreciative of Senator Hickenlooper’s leadership on this longstanding issue. Fixing this technicality will help more people capture the benefits of owning and controlling their business through a cooperative,” said Doug O’Brien, president and CEO of NCBA CLUSA. “Co-ops have been a critical economic development tool in this country for more than a century, particularly among disadvantaged communities. As we continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, the Capital for Cooperatives Act will help build a more inclusive, resilient economy that holds opportunity for all people.”
“As we continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, the Capital for Cooperatives Act will help build a more inclusive, resilient economy that holds opportunity for all people.” – Doug O’Brien, president and CEO, NCBA CLUSA
NCBA CLUSA and more than 250 co-op organizations and partners are proud to support this legislation. You can help us keep the momentum going! Build support for the Capital for Cooperatives Act by adding your organization’s name to our organizational sign-on.