May 11, 2017

Senator Hassan Helps Introduce Legislation to Encourage and Expand Employee-Owned Companies

Senator Hassan Helps Introduce Legislation to Encourage and Expand Employee-Owned Companies

WASHINGTON - Today, building on her efforts to expand middle class opportunity and support innovative businesses in New Hampshire, Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined in introducing two pieces of legislation to help encourage and expand employee-owned companies.

Senator Hassan joined Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in introducing the WORK Act and the U.S. Employee Ownership Bank Act.

"Studies have shown that employee-owned companies have more productive workers, better working conditions, and greater shareholder returns," said Senator Hassan. "New Hampshire has innovative businesses that are setting a great example of the benefits of employee-owned companies. I am proud to support these two bills that will help encourage these efforts, boost economic growth and expand opportunity for hard-working Granite Staters."

Broad-based employee ownership has been proven to increase employment, increase productivity, sales, and wages in the United States. Employee ownership boosts company productivity by 4 percent, shareholder returns by 2 percent and profits by 14 percent, according to a Rutgers University study. Nationally, there are already nearly 10,000 employee-owned businesses which employ roughly 10 million people.

The WORK Act would provide more than $45 million in funding to states to establish and expand employee ownership centers, which provide training and technical support for programs promoting employee ownership. The bill is also co-sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

The U.S. Employee Ownership Bank Act would create a U.S. Employee Ownership Bank to provide $500 million in low-interest rate loans and other financial assistance to help workers purchase businesses through an employee stock ownership plan or a worker-owned cooperative.

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