January 11, 2021

Biden Nominees Have Favored Employee Ownership

NCEO founder and senior staff member

President Biden’s nominees to key cabinet posts have favored employee ownership in the past. In 2019, the proposed new SBA administrator, Isabel Guzman, told the California Dream (a collaboration led by local PBS stations), that employee ownership was a good way to respond to the “silver tsunami.” "As these businesses in the silver tsunami start to retire, and look for options, we need to get this information [about employee ownership] out there," she said. NCEO staff later met with Guzman to discuss ways she could use her position as head of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate to promote the idea, and she affirmed her strong support.

In 2017 Gena Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island and proposed new Secretary of Labor, signed a Rhode Island bill making it easier to form worker cooperatives, while Marty Walsh, the mayor of Boston and proposed Secretary of Commerce, created a program to encourage worker cooperatives  and other forms of employee ownership in Boston (and coauthored an article encouraging employee ownership with me and Harpoon Brewing CEO Dan Kenary in the Boston Business Journal).

Previously, President Biden named Jared Bernstein, who has written very favorably on employee ownership, to his Council of Economic Advisers.