As small businesses continue to tread water, business owners who are searching for an exit will be hard-pressed to find a buyer. Instead of selling to large, out-of-state buyers or closing up shop for good, business owners may find willing buyers in the very people who work alongside them every day: their workers. By supporting the transition of small businesses to worker-ownership, the State of California will preserve jobs and businesses, reduce strain on its social safety net, anchor community access to essential goods and services, and cultivate a new generation of worker-owners who have a say in their workplace and share in the profits of their work.
The WORC Coalition
The Worker-Owned Recovery California (WORC) Coalition was formed to advance a comprehensive state policy agenda that addresses the dual crises of the COVID-19 economic crisis and the Silver Tsunami of retirement-age Baby Boomer business owners. In addition to discrete campaigns to influence the state budget, create state-backed cooperative conversion loans, and educate and engage the Governor's Business and Jobs Recovery Task Force, we are also building toward the introduction of bold state legislation in 2021. Read more about WORC here!
Members of the WORC Coalition include: Sustainable Economies Law Center, US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Democracy at Work Institute, California Center for Cooperative Development, Project Equity, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of SF Bay Area, Certified Employee-Owned, and the worker cooperative A Slice of New York.
2020 CA state budget campaign
In the midst of a tragic and transformative moment, the Worker-Owned Recovery California (WORC) Coalition raced against the clock to intervene in California's state budget bill. Our goal was to ensure that worker-owned businesses were included in California's economic recovery efforts and, to that end, we advocated for $10M to fund education, technical assistance, and forgivable loans to businesses that transition to worker ownership. This budget request was submitted for the June 15th budget with the backing of State Assemblymembers Chu, Kalra, Gonzalez, Limón, Bloom, Bonta, and Chiu, in order preserve the economic backbone of our state, reward both workers and selling business owners, and set California on the path to a more equitable economy.
The June 15th CA state budget did not ultimately include our emergency state budget request for forgivable loans, education, and outreach to transition small businesses to worker ownership. However, the WORC coalition was floored by the INCREDIBLE showing of support from both legislators and the grassroots. Because of this campaign, we are in an even stronger position to introduce bold legislation in 2021 and secure state funding to back it. To show your support and receive call to action announcements about legislation and related efforts, please endorse this page below!
Questions? Reach out to WORC Coalition Coordinator and Law Center Policy Director & Staff Attorney, Yassi Eskandari [email protected].
Urge the state legislature to invest in a worker-owned future.
Please endorse our agenda by signing below! We'll reach out with specific calls to action.