Today, Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO) introduced the Capital for Cooperatives Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation would require the U.S. Small Business Administration to reform its existing regulations that prevent cooperatives from access capital programs. Earlier this year, Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) introduced this legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy. Yet, far too often bureaucratic measures are keeping them from accessing the resources and support they need to grow and thrive,” Rep. Neguse said. “The Capital for Cooperatives Act will address one such roadblock, so that more people can unlock the funds they need to start or grow their cooperative businesses.”
Responding to the legislation, NCBA CLUSA president and CEO Doug O’Brien thanked Rep. Neguse for leading the Capital for Cooperatives Act in the House. “This legislation will pave the way for a long-term solution at the U.S. Small Business Administration to ensure that more people can unlock the capital needed to start or grow their cooperative business,” O’Brien said.
“As our nation continues to weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and turns toward recovery, it is critically important that people can use the cooperative model to invest in local ownership, create new economic opportunities, and build a more inclusive and resilient local economy,” he added.
Earlier in the year, ProPublica published an investigation on SBA’s lack of action in supporting cooperatives: The Government is Here to Help Small Businesses—Unless They’re Cooperatives.
More than 300 cooperatives and organizations have signed on to support this legislation. You can view the current list of supporters and add your co-op or organization here.