Co-ops allow their employees to also be the owners. But state law doesn’t recognize them as a business entity, which makes it hard to get financial backing.
State Rep. Carol Ammons, a Democrat from Urbana, is sponsoring legislation that would change that.
“It’s very difficult for traditional banking institutions to work with a cooperative model, unless we correct the legal definition of cooperatives,” Ammons said.
Advocates say worker co-ops create dignified jobs with living wages in areas with low employment.