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NCB Testifies at The House Small Business Committee Hearing to Discuss the Benefits and Challenges of the Employee Ownership Model

NCB Testifies at The House Small Business Committee Hearing to Discuss the Benefits and Challenges of the Employee Ownership Model

Arlington, VA (February 13, 2020)  On Februrary 12, 2020, The House Small Business Committee convened a hearing to discuss the benefits and challenges of the employee ownership model. Members in  attendance included Reps. Velázquez (D-NY-7), Chabot (R-OH-1), Balderson (D-OH-12), Kim (D-NJ-3), Golden (D-ME-2), Davids (D-KS-3), Finkenhauer (D-IA-1), Craig (D-MN-2), Delgado (D-NY-19), Bishop (R-NC-9), Spano (R-FL-15), Burchett (R-TN-2), and Stauber (R-MN-8) .

Witnesses for the hearing included:

  • Daniel Goldstein, President and CEO of Folience an employee owned company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
  • L. Condra, Vice President of Advocacy and Government Programs, National Cooperative Bank located in Arlington, VA,
  • John Abrams, CEO and Co-owner, South Mountain Company, a worker-owned cooperative in Martha’s Vineyard, MA
  • Mark Gillming, Senior Vice President, Messer Construction Company, an employee owned company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The hearing explored the challenges businesses face in converting to a co-op or an employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), as well as ways current federal programs can be optimized to minimize those challenges.

“For decades the co-op sector has asked the Small Business Administration to level the playing field.  Instead they proposed new hurdles for retiring business owners to convert their business to a cooperative.”
R.L. Condra, National Cooperative Bank

Highlights included:

  • Rep. Velázquez expressed her commitment to ensure that the Small Business Administration finds a solution to the personal guarantee requirement that is a barrier for cooperatives;
  • Additionally, Rep. Velázquez  is meeting with a roundtable of Small Business Development Centers, and will speak with them about promoting the cooperative ownership structure;
  • Likewise, Rep. Golden is interested in spreading education and outreach about employee ownership;
  • Rep. Balderson probed for information about how the Small Business Committee can address healthcare needs for workers; and
  • Rep. Stauber praised small business owners like the panelists for their innovative, common-sense solutions

To view the hearing, please visit:  https://youtu.be/Zp_Rn4c31As

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