North Carolina Employee Ownership Center Partners with City of Durham on Legacy Business Preservation Program

Durham, NC – May 7, 2020 – The North Carolina Employee Ownership Center (NCEOC) is partnering with the City of Durham on a project to protect Durham-based minority-owned legacy businesses. The NCEOC provides education and assistance around Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), worker cooperatives, and Employee Ownership Trusts (EOTs) as strong business exit options that also preserve jobs and community impacts. Dedicated to increasing community wealth and creating a more vibrant, inclusive economy, NCEOC has a particular focus on preserving minority businesses through employee ownership.

As part of this partnership, NCEOC will be reaching out to local Durham minority-owned businesses to discuss the importance of succession planning in ensuring their business continues after the owner retires. NCEOC will also present to several organizations that serve the Durham community of minority-owned businesses. The work completed by NCEOC will support Durham’s Legacy Business Preservation Program, which seeks to retain legacy minority-owned businesses, especially Black-Owned businesses that are a staple of Durham’s Black Wall Street.

Members of NCEOC’s Board and Staff have already been participating in the Shared Equity in Economic Development (SEED) initiative, a partnership between the Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI) and the City of Durham. NCEOC is also working with DAWI to support minority businesses throughout the entire state of North Carolina.

NCEOC’s work will also entail developing resources outlining the succession planning and employee ownership conversion process. These tools will then be shared with local businesses who may otherwise not know where to find service providers to assist with the process. Durham has already developed a new website, Durham Business 360, to provide resources to Durham businesses. NCEOC contributed to the succession planning and employee ownership portion of the Durham Business 360 website.

This partnership exemplifies NCEOC’s focus on harnessing local knowledge to support and retain thriving economies that benefit everyone. NCEOC is looking for more opportunities to partner with local organizations to support business retention through employee ownership.