Worker Cooperatives

Cooperatives (or co-ops) are entities that buy and sell goods and services, just like traditional businesses, but they are owned by their members or workers, rather than by shareholders. Worker cooperatives empower workers to make decisions that impact their lives and livelihoods, learn new skills, and share equally in a business's profits. We are committed to supporting existing co-ops and incubating new co-ops.

According to the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI), employee-owned businesses are more productive and have more stability than traditional businesses. Worker owned co-ops have much lower rates of employee turnover and business closing, are almost always more profitable, and pay better wages to workers.

Because the people doing the work for the company are also the ones who own the company, they feel a greater sense of responsibility for and personal stake in helping the business succeed. Equally important, a worker owned coop instills a sense of autonomy, dignity and empowerment. We believe these are essential characteristics for a self-governing people.

We aim to amplify the great things already happening in the solidarity economy here on the North Coast, as well as to build our community's capacity for responsible resilience going forward. Please explore, connect with, and support the people and organizations listed below already doing great work, and/or contact us to join our work towards making this program area even more robust!

Existing Projects

Coming Soon: Conversions to Co-ops

Other Resources

The Democracy Collaborative

RESTIF Cleaning - a 100% employee-owned, local company