Colorado Employee Ownership Initiative
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Colorado Employee Ownership Initiative

Hi I’m Colorado governor Jared Polis. Employee ownership takes many different shapes here in Colorado, ranging across a full spectrum of industries. Employee ownerships can be formed by cooperatives, employee stock options, direct ownership plans and many more ways. Employees of employer owned companies tend to have higher wages and receive greater benefits and there’s a greater buying and engagement than there are at non employee-owned businesses. Employee-owned businesses also witness increased productivity and a greater standing in the community we serve and lower turnover. An employee-owned structure benefits business owners as well as the employees. It provides owners with a ready and willing way to sell their business. It avoids the needs to pay a broker 10 percent or more to sell their business. It also gives business owners a more engaged workforce with less turnover and more motivation. It can also offer substantial federal and tax benefits and helps protect the legacy the business owners who created a lifetime making. Before I became governor I created and sold several highly successful businesses that had an element of employee ownership and I learned firsthand that when a company does well, everyone should do well. That’s why as governor I signed an executive order this last April that created a Colorado Commission on employee ownership. This commission will support the development and advancement of employee-owned businesses here in Colorado. We’ll do this by establishing a robust and wide-reaching network of technical support for businesses wishing to convert to employee ownership. We’ll educate businesses and communities across the state on the economic and community benefits of employee-owned businesses. I will also identify barriers to the development and advancement of employee-owned businesses and recommend that the state legislature and ouradministration remove those barriers to reducethe costs of employee ownership. We’ve already taken several steps to increase employee ownership here in Colorado, but there’s more work to do. There’s over 300 employee-owned businesses in Colorado, and with your help there’ll be many more in the future. Thank you for your interest in employee ownership.

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