Economic Justice

Commentary: Owners to Owners

| Albert Lee |

Commentary: “How NYC is attacking the racial wealth gap” – J. Philip Thompson, Daily News, December 3, 2020

NYC’s Owner to Owners initiative to support business owners with employee ownership solutions is bold, timely, and strategic.

It’s bold because the program will conduct outreach to 20,000 businesses in the coming months.

It’s timely because small business owners in their 60s and 70s may be ready to retire. The pandemic and lockdowns have heightened risks and made succession plans more urgent than ever.

It’s strategic because it’ll contribute to democratizing the economy, sustaining community engagement and empowerment, and stemming wealth and racial inequality. 

Still, large-scale Federal dollars in the form of grants, forgivable loans, and tax incentives will be needed because small businesses, especially in BIPOC communities, are getting crushed under the weight of a pandemic-triggered recession and the unbridled power of the biggest corporations.

Helping business owners at this historic moment to sell to their employees can be a win-win-win, starting with the business owner, the employees, and the community. The benefits can extend broadly in space and time. And they must.

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