Employee ownership help
Our Worker Cooperative Initiative supports co-ops and businesses owned by employees. City tools include:
- on-site technical help
- support with procurement, and
- helping worker co-ops take advantage of City policies and grant programs.
What is employee ownership?
A worker cooperative is a business entity owned and democratically run by the people who work in it.
An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is a defined contribution employee benefit plan. It allows employees to become owners of stock in the company they work for.
There are many examples of both across the US, including Cooperative Home Care Associates (worker co-op) and Harpoon Brewery (ESOP).
Co-ops are similar to traditional businesses in that they aim to create a profit and become self-sustaining.
Co-ops are different in that they often have bottom lines aside from making a profit, including:
- worker well-being
- community well-being, and
- environmental sustainability.
Map of Boston-area employee co-ops
Greater Boston firms by categoryFirms by category
Equitable Economic Development Fellowship
The National League of Cities (NLC), PolicyLink, and the Urban Land Institute run the fellowship. It’s funded by the Surdna Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. The two-year fellowship aims to build our local economy through equity, transparency, sustainability, and community engagement.
The City of Boston will receive support and technical help from NLC, PolicyLink, ULI, and its peer cities. Joyce Linehan, Trinh Nguyen, John Smith, and Jason Ewas are participating in the program as fellows. They will receive support from across City Hall. The fellowship does not include direct funding support for putting programs in place.
The City of Boston team picked economic inequality as an equity challenge. They then selected employee ownerships as a way to address it. Our fellowship team believes that employee ownership offers a chance for citizens throughout the City to build wealth.