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in Metro Atlanta


As business owners retire, we help keep these businesses thriving in our communities

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Metro Atlanta

Employee ownership as a strategy for retaining businesses

A solution to preserve jobs, recover from the pandemic and narrow the racial wealth gap

Legacy businesses are essential to Atlanta’s local economy and community vitality. Keeping small businesses and the jobs they provide rooted in the community are among the challenges this region faces, as the Silver Tsunami—the retirement wave of baby boomer business owners—and the Great Resignation impact Atlanta.

Wealth building through employee ownership

With half of the business owners in this region beginning to retire, it is time to turn risk into opportunity.  By selling businesses to their employees, owners can preserve their legacies, keep companies rooted in the local economy, and generate wealth for employees.

With a great number of businesses struggling to retain, recruit and reward workers, by providing workers an equity stake in their workplace, business owners activate a powerful tool for keeping workers engaged, attracting new workers and unlocking increased productivity, all while realizing liquidity or additional operating capital.

In the Atlanta metro region, employee ownership can help close the racial wealth gap by providing many more Black or African American workers the opportunity to participate in and benefit from business ownership.  The power of employee ownership translates to 92% higher household net worth, 53% longer median job tenure and 33% higher median wage income, according to a study by the National Center for Employee Ownership.

Our approach

Project Equity provides one-on-one advising and support to companies that want to explore and execute integrating partial or full employee ownership, and also offers working capital and transaction financing.

Black business owners often do not have access to or receive the detailed counsel Project Equity provides to develop a successful exit strategy establishing what will happen to their business and employees once they retire or transition, which can lead to ineffective business succession, and reduce the value of the owner’s hard-fought efforts to create a thriving enterprise further widening the racial wealth gap.

Latresa McLawhorn Ryan

Executive Director, Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative

Watch the webinar:

Closing the Racial Wealth Gap for Shared Prosperity

The Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative and Project Equity discuss current efforts to narrow the racial wealth gap in Atlanta by supporting small business transitions to employee ownership.


About Project Equity and our partners

As a national organization, Project Equity advocates for and raises awareness of broad-based, democratic employee ownership, and we support businesses in transitioning to this highly beneficial business model. Through amazing local partners, like the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, we support this work in regions across the country.

The Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative reimagines economic realities in communities of color through community wealth building strategies that powerfully leverage ideas, people and capital. 

Employee-owned companies in Metro Atlanta

Agusta Industrial Services

Anna Julia Cooper Learning & Liberation Center

Benning Construction

Dixie Plywood and Lumber

Elliott Machine Shop

Essential Ingredients

Greenberg Farrow Architecture, Inc.

Inland Fresh Seafood Corp.

Pecan Milk Cooperative, LLC

Ogden Forklifts

Southern Restorations Cooperative

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