NCBA CLUSA and its partners met with senior officials of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) yesterday to advocate for effective implementation of the Main Street Employee Ownership Act.
The act—passed in August as part of the defense bill—is a critical step in ensuring that cooperatives have access to the resources and flexibility the business model needs for long-term, sustainable economic growth.
Employee-owned businesses have a strong track record of sustaining local jobs, offering better, more equitable pay and generating more broadly shared wealth through self-help and democratic governance.
Yesterday’s meeting was a follow-up to a September 12 letter NCBA CLUSA and its partners sent to SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, applauding the move to amend longstanding inequities in how the SBA administers loans to Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and worker cooperatives, and pledging to help accelerate the process.
During the meeting, NCBA CLUSA and its partners discussed SBA’s implementation timeline, how employee ownership work aligns with the agency’s priorities, and ways the co-op community can support the process. The group agreed to pool resources for better education, training and technical assistance as more small businesses have the opportunity to transition to worker-owned cooperatives.
NCBA CLUSA’s implementation partners include Capital Impact Partners, CooperationWorks!, the Democracy at Work Institute, the ESOP Association, National Center for Employee Ownership, National Cooperative Bank, and the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives.