Massachusetts Renews Commitment to Employee Ownership Center

Apr 24, 2019 | Timothy L. Stewart

According to the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts Office of Business Development is spending $150,000 to employ two consulting groups to travel the state and “preach the gospel of employee ownership.” These groups will attempt to reach many of the State’s 28,000 employers with 10 to 100 employees which could be up for sale before the end of 2025.

The announcement was attended by one of the leaders of Harpoon Brewery, a very popular Massachusetts-based craft brewery which became ESOP-owned in 2014.

Interestingly, a couple of the legislators who ushered the project through the Massachusetts government had their own, personal reasons for encouraging employee ownership. Representative Paul Mark, as a child, saw his father laid off on Christmas eve from a warehousing job. Senator Julian Cyr watched his parents sell their restaurant to a hotel, which converted it into a function hall. Both legislators felt that employee ownership would have produced different (and better) results.

This drives home how important it is for our legislators to understand what employee ownership means. The NCEO, the ESOP Association and ESCA are all employee ownership organizations which place an emphasis on educating local and federal officials on the benefits of employee ownership to the economy.