On Friday, July 8th, the New York State Cooperative Network met at the Common Bound conference in Buffalo. The New York State Cooperative Network is a cross-sectoral effort at organizing on a state-wide level. From the day-long gathering and work sessions, emerged some real opportunities for collaboration – skillshares and support, value chain development and passing New York State Policy that would help the development of worker cooperatives.
However, the network is just in its infancy at this point. To date, it has been organized by a steering committee mostly made up of folks from the Ithaca, Rochester, and Buffalo areas, principally among them: Frank Cetera (Senior Business Advisor with NYS Onondaga Small Business Development Center), Krys Cail (GreenStar Cooperative Market, DE Squared), Joe Marraffino (Democracy at Work Institute, American.coop, New York Cooperative Network), Meagan Weatherby (Cooperative Federal, Syracuse Real Food Co-op). New York City has not been particularly present in the past, although we had a very decent presence at the CommonBound gathering. NYC NOWC was able to share our own experience with developing a Cooperative network and helped identify some it promises and challenges.
Osman Ahmed from FPWA briefed attendees on a bill being considered in the state assembly that provides tax incentives for business owners looking to sell their business to their employees. The law also seeks to provide a workers compensation exemption for three years, for small start-up worker-owned business. The bill is currently held up in the labor committee over concerns around the worker’s compensation clause by labor groups.
Among some of the actions steps to come out of the gathering: FPWA will be leading quarterly state-wide policy calls, NYC NOWC will organize quarterly state wide virtual skill shares and learning spaces.
You are also welcome to contact Krys Cail at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments and questions.