Chicago enlists Project Equity in Community Wealth Building Initiative
The City of Chicago has announced a new program that includes employee ownership as part of its community wealth building strategy. Project Equity is excited to be one of 17 organizations awarded grants to promote comprehensive growth and sustainability in the city of Chicago and its neighborhoods.
The Chicago Wealth Building Initiative features employee ownership as one of the key strategies for driving inclusive and equitable economic development in the city. This first phase of the initiative focuses on ecosystem building.
Project Equity will be exploring and mapping existing business-serving organizations in Chicago, gauging their interest in and capacity to support employee ownership transitions. Our focus will be on businesses with a significant concentration of Black, Brown, LMI and/or marginalized workers.
Based on a Project Equity analysis, over half of locally-owned businesses with employees across the entire state of Illinois have owners at or nearing retirement age, and Chicago businesses are no exception. Retaining these businesses as their owners retire is critical to maintaining the vitality of the local economy, and converting these businesses to worker ownership presents an opportunity to build community wealth and transform the local economy into one that is more equitable and inclusive. Employee ownership including worker cooperatives are a sustainable solution to keeping, and creating new, minority-owned businesses in the city of Chicago.
We are proud to join the likes of Democracy at Work Institute, Manufacturing Renaissance, Upside Down Consulting LLC, and many other great organizations to create a sustainable impact and wealth-building program through employee ownership, as a part of the City of Chicago Community Wealth Building Initiative.