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Friends of the Center

December 2020

Dear Friend of the OEOC,

2019 has proven to be an exciting year in the employee ownership world. We have experienced a noted uptick of interest in employee ownership, including an increasing interest from business owners exploring whether to sell their business to their employees. The Main Street Employee Ownership Act was passed by congress and signed into law this August, which will hopefully reduce the hurdles for employee-owned businesses to receive SBA loan guarantees in support of the financing of the purchase of the business from the previous owner(s). Obtaining financing for transitioning to employee-ownership has been a significant challenge in the past.

On a more personal level, we have launced our new website, and will be adding online training programs (to be released in early 2020) and other fun features that we hope will make it more of a resource to the employee ownership community. We are also continuing our partnerships with national employee ownership organizations, like the ESOP Association and the Beyster Institute, and hope to be adding a few more in 2020.

With all this good news, your continued support is still as vital as ever for us to expand this work. That is why we are asking for your donation today. Here is why you should consider support employee ownership where:

● Each employee shares in the rewards and risks of being an owner

● Employees are an asset worthy of investment rather than just an expense

● Studies consistently show that employee-owned companies outperform their non-employee-owned counterparts

● During the Great Recession, employee-owned companies remained more profitable, productive, and had lower level of layoffs than conventionally owned business

● Expanding employee-owned companies means anchoring businesses, jobs, wealth and economic activity in local communities.

The OEOC has focused tirelessly on promoting employee ownership, deepening employee participation, retaining businesses and jobs, and increasing living standards for working families and their communities. We are asking you now to join us to expand employee ownership by making a tax-deductible donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1000 to the OEOC through its Friends of the Center program (click here). Your assistance is needed as much as ever, as state and federal budgets supporting our programs has diminished.

Your support will fund our work of promoting employee ownership, in which we are uniquely qualified to facilitate the advancement of employee ownership in Ohio and across this country. With your contribution, we can continue the following initiatives:

1) Provide ongoing training and resources to existing employee-owned companies. Employee owned companies take time to develop their culture and operational capabilities. The OEOC can provide direct training to members of the Ohio Employee Ownership Network, or partner with highly qualified professional service providers who can help these businesses meet their long-term goals.

2) Grow our outreach, programming, and technical assistance to new and existing cooperatives through our Cooperative Development Center. Our main focus in this area is to assist small businesses as they convert to worker cooperatives.

3) Continue assisting business owners in planning for their ownership succession, through our Business Succession Planning Program, which is especially important as a large number of business owners are reaching the age of retirement and will be selling their businesses. Our work in this area helps more businesses transition to the employees who, by leaving the business intact, help maintain the economy of the local community. Funding is needed to help support our activities in urban areas.

We have responded to economic challenges, and new opportunities with creativity and innovation.  We have expanded our online offerings, like our extensive program of webinars on topics related to employee ownership, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), cooperative development and business succession planning.

The OEOC has engaged with several companies to help guide the business owners and employees through the complicated and time-consuming process of becoming employee owned. While the OEOC has reduced its costs and also developed additional revenue sources, it still needs your help. Your willingness to be a Friend of the OEOC and provide monetary assistance is more important than ever. As a supporter of the OEOC, you can be proud in helping build on our past accomplishments, and extend our impact going forward.

We at the OEOC wish you and your family a happy holiday season and all the best in 2020.

Sincerely,

Roy J. Messing

Director

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