Employee ownership: an economic development solution to keep Washington’s businesses thriving

Watch the webinar: Employee ownership: an economic development solution to keep Washington’s businesses thriving

Recorded on: Thursday, December 10, 2020

We need cost-effective strategies that build truly resilient economies, and employee ownership is one proven solution that applies across many industries. COVID-19 has required business owners to make adjustments to their businesses, as well as their long-term plans. If many of these companies go out of business or change hands, it could affect local economic vitality and business survival. Rural communities are especially hard hit when long-standing local businesses are lost. 

As of September 2020, almost 80% of businesses in Washington state have been negatively affected by COVID-19.  Over half believe it will take more than six months to return to normal. 

In Washington state, retiring baby boomers own nearly half of all small businesses with employees, almost 60,000 companies. 6 out of 10 will try to sell their business in the coming decade, and many won’t find buyers. 

In this webinar (co-hosted by Project Equity and Whatcom Community Foundation), we heard from the following leaders in their field: 

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Proof for employee ownership

Proof for employee ownership

Employee-owned companies have protected their workers’ jobs four times better than other firms and suffered fewer cuts to hours and pay during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study.

EOX Partnership

EOX Partnership

On December 2, 2020, the Employee Ownership Expansion Network (EOX) and Project Equity announced their new partnership designed to amplify employee ownership models as ways to preserve small businesses, strengthen jobs and communities and address the acute need for local economic resiliency.


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