In 2018, the USFWC, alongside national partners worked together to pass the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, a landmark success for worker ownership.
This legislation required the Small Business Administration to report to Congress on Lending to Cooperatives. SBA has long restricted access to guaranteeing loans to cooperative businesses because of an agency regulation requiring a personal guarantee – a requirement that is simply incompatible with the cooperative business structure.
The pressing need for co-ops to access capital through the SBA remains, and is perhaps more urgent than ever, as existing business owners retire and workers or consumers seek to buy the company as a cooperative, new entrepreneurs seek to start-up a cooperative business, and existing co-ops seek to grow or innovate as we continue to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.
We ask our membership and network to voice your support for the Capital for Cooperatives Act, sponsored by Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO). This bill levels the playing field for co-ops to access essential SBA financing tools by requiring SBA to reform underwriting criteria that allows co-ops to participate, while ensuring the safety of the loan.
The bill would also require SBA to work with the Interagency Working Group on Cooperative Development, headed by USDA, to increase SBA’s support for co-ops, and require SBA to report to Congress on the agency’s work on this issue.
This bill has just been introduced and we are aiming to have as many organizations as possible sign on.
We invite you to take action in two ways:
First: Sign on as a supporter of the Capital for Cooperatives Act
You can voice your support by filling out this Google form.
Please ensure that only one representative per organization fills out the form.
Second: Contact your Senators to support the Capital for Cooperatives Act
Use the form below to send messages to your Senator