Running a small business has always come with a large dollop of risk, but the global pandemic has forced the majority of owners to doubt the very survival of their business. Sticking around over the next months and perhaps even years will require lots of creativity and openness to ideas owners may have never considered before.
One of those ideas could be a worker co-op (short for cooperative): an entity that allows employees to invest in, own, and profit from the company itself, and not just the wages their work garners.
Structuring or restructuring as a workers co-op can be a good idea for enterprises at just about any stage. For companies that have just begun and that are still a little unformed, the main concern may be how exactly to keep moving forward. Its founders may still be thinking about how to structure their company to give it the best chance of succeeding and to benefit all its stakeholders the most. For more established companies whose founders are older, the main concern may be about how to go about selling or passing it on as part of a retirement strategy.