July 6, 2020

U.S. Senator Says Link Employee Ownership to Government Aid

NCEO founder and senior staff member

Only a handful of people in Congress have actually worked for an ESOP company, but Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is one of them. In an interview with Urban Milwaukee on July 3, Johnson suggested linking government assistance to employee ownership. “PPP on average probably provided a grant of around $11,000 per employee. So if we’re going to provide these grants, you know, restore capital, what I will say in exchange for the grant, a business that wants to reopen would then establish a new ownership structure, something like an employee stock ownership plan. I actually worked at one … and it’s a great form of ownership. Every employee participates. They participate in the earnings of the company, generally set up as a retirement type of plan. It’s a really good ownership structure for a capitalist society. I think it would also help alleviate the inequality gap as well.”

Our friends at ESCA say he plans to add a provision in the next stimulus bill that would "create a new grant program at [the] Treasury to provide grants to companies that have begun transitioning to [an] ESOP."