Richmond Worker Cooperative Loan Fund Launch Nov. 27th

Press release received today:
November 13, 2012
For immediate release
Contact:  415-240-8738, Wayne Landers or Stephanie Hervey at outreach@richmondcooploans.net

Worker Cooperative Loan Fund Launch November 27th

A new source of small loans is now available for Richmond  businesses operating as worker cooperatives.  This is part of an effort to encourage job seekers and entrepreneurs to band together and create their own workplaces.  From 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 27 the Richmond Worker Cooperative Revolving Loan Fund (RWCRLF) will  host an informational briefing for interested parties and the media.  The event will take place at the offices of Richmond Main Street, 1000  MacDonald Avenue, Suite C.  Everyone is welcome.
The new fund is designed to meet a specific hurdle in starting worker owned businesses.  Securing financing for new cooperatives can be challenging.  Financial institutions are often unwilling to make loans to a group of people who share equal responsibility for running the business, preferring to lend to sole proprietors.  Neil Helfman, attorney and a founding member of RWCRLF, states “it takes a lot of perseverance to get a worker coop started, but once it gets going, it’s a much more robust and sustainable business structure.”

“Workers who are also owners require no supervision; we all understand the importance of getting the job done right because we each have a stake in the on-going health of the enterprise,” noted Terry Baird, co-founder and longtime worker owner of Arizmendi Bakery in Oakland and also a founding member of RWCRLF.  To work collectively, good communication and conflict resolution skills are essential.  Members support each other, and the risks inherent in running a business are shared.  Having all members bring their talents and perspectives to the decision making process usually results in better outcomes.

Specifics about applying for loans, as well as general information about cooperatives, will be available at the meeting.  For more information visit www.richmondcooploans.net

Worker cooperatives follow the seven cooperative principles:  voluntary and open membership; democratic member control; member economic participation;  autonomy and independence; education, training, and information for members and the public; cooperation among cooperatives; and concern for community.

What:  Launch of Richmond Worker Cooperative Revolving Loan Fund
When:  Tuesday, November 27, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Where:  Richmond Main Street, 1000 MacDonald Ave, Suite C, Richmond