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The Denver Metro Small Business Development Center is

Dream Focused, Business Minded

Employee Ownership

Housed in the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the Employee Ownership Network brings together subject matter experts such as employee-owned businesses, attorneys and economic development experts to promote employee ownership in Colorado. Employee-owned businesses promote a higher quality of living for the employee-owners themselves – including higher wages and a longer job tenure — and secure greater economic stability for the communities.

ABOUT THE EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP COMMISSION

The Commission on Employee Ownership was established on April 10, 2019 by Executive Order. Governor Polis established the commission to support the Employee Ownership Network by:

  • Establishing a wide-reaching network of technical support for businesses wanting to become employee-owned;
  • Educating businesses and communities on the benefits of becoming employee-owned businesses;
  • And finally, identifying — and ultimately removing — any barriers to the development and advancement of employee-owned businesses.

WHAT CAN EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP DO FOR YOU?

PROVIDE AN EXIT STRATEGY.

In almost every small business, the owner or owners will eventually want to leave. Selling the business to employees can be a way to provide continuity and preserve the culture of the business.

ATTRACT AND RETAIN GOOD EMPLOYEES.

Many small businesses have trouble attracting and retaining good employees. Using employee ownership as an employee benefit can be an important way to address this problem.

IMPROVE PERFORMANCE.

Several reliable studies indicate that, on average, employee-owned firms perform substantially better than non-employee-owned firms when ownership is combined with employee participation in decisions affecting their work. A survey published in the ESOP Report (August 2003) revealed that ESOP companies outperformed the three major stock indices in 2002: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ composite, and the S&P 500. This means “once again that the decision to become employee-owned through an ESOP means better company performance and greater wealth creation for the employee owners.” (ESOP Report 8/03).

IMPROVE WAGES AND BENEFITS.

Employee-owned businesses tend to pay higher wages and provide better benefit

PROVIDE TAX BENEFITS.

Certain employee ownership structures qualify for tax benefits, which can be substantial.

TYPES OF EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP

The two primary forms of employee ownership are Worker Cooperatives and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs).

EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP EMAIL UPDATES

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