This month we put together a series of free virtual webinars. Jim Johnson and Joseph Cureton helped viewers learn about cooperative basics and cooperative conversions.
During Introduction to Cooperatives, they shared everything from the basics of getting started to legal structures and capital. Management structures to decision making. We also talked about the pro’s and con’s of owning a cooperative, and the differences between these flexible forms of doing business.
Intro To Cooperative Conversions & Employee Buyout, was for small business owners. It was geared towards those considering their next steps during the time of COVID-19, or maybe approaching retirement. Cooperative conversions are an increasingly compelling option for business owners. They sell their business to its employees which helps retain jobs and keep small businesses in their communities. During this webinar we discussed steps of the conversion process, and answered questions about whether or not an employee buyout is the right decision.
If you didn’t get a chance to join us, don’t worry! We recorded the sessions and they are available to watch at any time. Find them below and make sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates on future happenings.
We are bringing you two events this month. ‘Co-op 101’ and ‘A Brief Introduction to Cooperative Conversions and Employee Buyout’.
Have you ever wondered what a cooperative is, or what it would be like to start your own cooperative? Co-op 101 is the perfect workshop for you. Spend an hour learning about the in’s and out’s of worker-owned cooperative businesses. We will have a conversation about legal structures and capital, pro’s and con’s, and the differences between these flexible forms of doing business. You will leave wanting to put what you’ve learned to work!
Our Brief Introduction to Cooperative Conversions and Employee Buyout workshop is geared towards small business owners. In the time of COVID-19, small business owners might be pondering ways to preserve their business legacy as they approach retirement. You might be considering a career change, but want to leave your business to people who are competent and already invested in the welfare of the business.
Cooperative conversions – selling a business to its employees – are an increasingly compelling option to retain jobs and keep small businesses in their communities. We will lead you through the steps of this process, and answer questions about whether an employee buyout might be right for your business.
During the session we discussed the in’s and out’s of selling a small business to it’s employees and covered many topics including:
Why are so many small business owners selling their businesses to their workers?
Most small businesses never find an outside buyer. Without a worker-buyout, your customers lose their brand of choice and your community loses critical economic activity. The longest-serving and most loyal of your workers will be the least likely to find a comparable livelihood elsewhere. When a larger competitor does buy a business, they usually lay off most or all of the workers and dissolve the enterprise. And your legacy disappears!
Why are worker-owned businesses better?
Worker-owned businesses have higher productivity, lower worker turnover, and their profits stay in the community. Workers adopt more global perspectives on their workplace and the welfare of their co-workers and their customers, and engage broader concerns and policy issues about the future of their market, their industrial sector, the larger economy, and the environment. Worker-ownership fosters more engaged citizenship. And your legacy lives on!
Why are governments incentivizing worker buy-outs? What are those incentives?
Aging baby boomers own a large percentage of small businesses, and they’re now looking to retire. Without worker buy-outs, most of these businesses, their jobs, and their other economic activity, will be lost. Worker buy-outs can also deliver significant tax breaks to the seller, and the Small Business Administration is expanding their lending options to support worker buy-outs.
Why should I attend the workshop on selling my business and exploring employee ownership?
You will get answers to all of your questions about selling to your workers, and we will lead you through the steps involved in doing it. These include overall exploratory process and strategy, ownership and management succession planning, financing options, legal and structural angles, and much more! The Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy is a non-extractive lender that finances worker-buyouts; its members include experienced worker-owners skilled in converting businesses to worker-ownership and supporting workers and owners in making the transition.
Discover if an employee buyout is right for your business in a free virtual workshop hosted by the BRED Loan Fund.
In the time of COVID-19 many small business owners are considering their options. Some owners are contemplating selling or even closing their businesses. If you are one of those owners, we have something just for you.
Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy is holding a free online workshop. It will focus on presenting you with practical strategies to sell your business to a trusted buyer (your employees) in order to continue serving your community.
During this workshop you will get answers to your questions about selling to your workers.
We will lead you through the steps involved in the process, including:
The Baltimore Roundtable for Economic Democracy is a non-extractive business lender that finances worker-buyouts – its members include experienced worker-owners skilled in converting businesses to worker ownership and supporting workers and owners in making the transition.
Help us make sure that the worker-owners on the front lines of building a democratic economy have the resources they need to weather this storm. The workers of the Seed Commons cooperative network need your help building a mutual aid fund to endure the COVID-19 crisis.
Democratic workplaces are the seeds of the future economy we all need—community oriented, worker-controlled, and deeply sustainable. But now these seeds, just starting to sprout, stand to be wiped out as the global economy grinds to a viral standstill. We must make sure that the worker-owners on the frontlines of building a democratic economy have the resources they need to weather the storm. Please help the workers of New Era Windows, Brooklyn Stone & Tile, Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, CORE Staffing, and others in our network build a mutual aid fund to support us in the weeks and months that are ahead.
How we are responding
The COVID-19 outbreak and associated social distancing measures are hitting small businesses hard, and worker-owners of cooperative enterprises around the country will struggle to cover payroll and rent costs during this time. The Seed Commons Worker Response Fund will provide direct support to worker-owners at cooperative businesses most affected by closures and downturn associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, such as food service businesses, custom manufacturing, and child care cooperatives.
Seed Commons – a national network of cooperative loan funds, anchored by The Working World – is designed to support those workers who are most marginalized from the economy, and these communities are the ones that are going to be most impacted by closures, cancellations, and economic downturn in the coming months. Our community – made up of low income workers, workers of color, sole income earners, single parents, and immigrant workers – is coming together to raise a collective emergency fund to ensure all of our workers’ needs are met and our cooperatives can stay open during this crisis.
Where your money is going
Funds will be made available to cooperatives across our network according to a structured process of need and rationing approved by our board. Donations will be tax deductible and held at Seed Commons, a 501(c)3 certified Community Development Financial Institution before being distributed directly to the cooperative businesses hit hardest by this crisis.
This is not a fundraiser for Seed Commons operations or any of its member organizations – this fund is supporting workers directly, providing much needed support in a time of urgent need. Seed Commons member loan funds will also be working with borrowing businesses directly to reassess project plans and repayment timelines to ensure sustainability even in this time of uncertainty.
On behalf of the workers at New Era Windows, Brooklyn Stone & Tile, Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, CORE Staffing and many more cooperatives across the country, thank you for your support!
As the COVID-19 global pandemic unfolds we wanted to . provide a small set of resources applicable to worker-coops across Baltimore City. This list has been adapted from the Good Business Works original posting, and will continue to be updated as things unfold.
Policy Updates and Business FAQs from the Maryland Department of Commerce, a few key points some business tax filing deadlines are being extended to June 1st, contact email@example.com for more information any permits, licenses, or registrations that would expire during the state of emergency will be extended for 30 days after the end of the state of emergency.
Health Related Health Insurance Enrollment: The Maryland Health Connection is offering a special enrollment period for the ACA between March 16- April 15.
Visit MarylandHealthConnection.gov or download the free “Enroll MHC” mobile app. Request or select “Coronavirus Emergency Special Enrollment Period.” Free help is available by calling 1-855-642-8572 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays.
Internet Service: A free “Internet Essentials” package will be free to all new Comcast customers for the next 60 days and Comcast will not disconnect internet or charge a late fee for any customer who contacts them and says they are unable to pay