As the nation reflects on the state of its union, NCBA CLUSA is urging continued bipartisan solutions to the challenges that face the nation. With one-third of the nation’s population participating in the more than 65,000 cooperative establishments in the U.S., more and more people are looking to the cooperative business model as a strategy to solve these challenges and build stable, sustainable communities.
Congress and the Administration have the opportunity to help people capture economic opportunities through the cooperative business model—a model where people own, control and benefit from the businesses they use. NCBA CLUSA looks forward to continuing its work with Congress and the Administration so that more people have access to the critical financing and technical assistance needed for people to establish and grow these member-owned businesses.
By working with the bipartisan Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus, we encourage members to champion legislation and policy that supports cooperatives. And through the Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development, we work directly with federal agencies on issues important to members of cooperatives.
We are encouraged by the progress made thus far to create a policy environment that bolsters cooperative business development. Small businesses are at the heart of vibrant, healthy communities, and employee ownership through worker co-op conversions is an emerging strategy to strengthen and preserve those businesses nationwide. Fair tax treatment will keep cooperatives from being harmed in tax legislation that would directly affect working families, small businesses and farmers. With new authorities in Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program to analyze forthcoming census data and the opportunities afforded by the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, now is the time to increase investment in rural economic growth. Cooperatives are key stakeholders in international development around the world, supporting self-determination initiatives that enable people to better provide for themselves, their families and their communities.