The ESOP Association Blog

Covering ESOPs and employee ownership

October is Employee Ownership Month — Download Your Press & Event Planning Kit

Employee Ownership Month (2)October will be here before you know it. Star planning TODAY! Download your copy of the 2014 Press & Event Planning Kit. A link to the Kit can be found on the Employee Ownership Month page.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing stories from members to help inspire your company celebrations this October. Now is the time to celebrate the incredible spirit of employee ownership and an opportunity to educate employee owners about the tremendous benefits of ESOPs. It’s also an opportunity to educate the public, elected officials, and the media as to why employee ownership through ESOPs is good public policy.

If you have questions or would like to submit stories and photos about your Employee Ownership Month events, please send an email to media AT esopassociation.org.

All corporate members of the Association will receive a complimentary copy of this year’s winning poster designed by Entertainments Partners (Burbank, California). Additional copies of the poster can be ordered online.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, ,

ESOP News Link

We thought we’d share another link today. Dr. Joseph Blasi, a preeminent researcher of employee ownership, has an opinion piece in Time. A good read. Go take a look.

The Wealthy and Powerful Discover Inequality

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message,

ESOP Champion, Senator Mary Landrieu, Makes Senate Floor Statement on Value of ESOPs

On July 31, 2014, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu (D) took to the Senate floor to make a statement on ESOPs. Below is an excerpt of her statement; you can read the statement in its entirety here.

An excerpt of Senator Landrieu’s statement follows:

“Ms. LANDRIEU. Madam President, I wish to reiterate my longstanding support for employee stock ownership plans or ESOPs. During my time in the Senate, I have been dedicated to building on the lasting contributions of my Louisiana predecessors, including Senator Russell B. Long, who, as Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, championed tax provisions to encourage corporations to adopt ESOPs. Senator Long advocated for employee stock ownership as an “issue that cuts across party lines in an attempt to bring out the best in our free enterprise system.’’ He believed that “it is only fair and right that those who work to make this economy succeed should have an opportunity to share in that success . . . [i]t is a matter of simple common sense and basic equity.’’ I couldn’t agree more.

“Last year, as chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, I convened a roundtable to provide small business owners, policy experts and other stakeholders an opportunity to express their views and to solicit their ideas on making tax reform work for small businesses. Participants argued in favor of a Tax Code that rewards employer and employee ownership as a means of providing continuity of business ownership and opportunities for employees of businesses to build wealth. Specifically, participants favored retaining the current Tax Code’s ESOP provisions, noting that during the most recent economic downturn, ESOPs, which are predominately small businesses, were able to retain more employees as they weathered the crisis than conventionally owned companies.

“Earlier this year, the New York Times published an article describing the research of three labor economists who have focused their work on promoting ESOPs as a “new perspective on how to resolve the disparities in wealth and income.’’ I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the New York Times article, dated February 11, 2014, and titled, “Whatever Happened to ‘Every Man a King’?’’. These experts, Dr. Joseph Blasi and Dr. Richard Kruse of Rutgers University, and Dr. Douglas Freeman of Harvard University, argue in their book, “The Citizen’s Share’’, that policies promoting employee ownership date back to the era of the Founding Fathers and have garnered support from politicians and stakeholders across the political spectrum–from Ronald Reagan to Senator Bernie Sanders.

“Quite simply, policies that promote ESOPs are policies that merit this Chamber’s bipartisan support and I will continue the work of my Louisiana predecessors to ensure retirement security for working Americans.”

The New York Times article by Thomas B. Edsall can be found here.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs,

ESOP News Highlights

We’d thought we’d share an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune that highlighted two ESOP Association members: Christensen Group Insurance and Windings Inc.

St. Anthony: Employee ownership can be a winning formula

Also, Dr. Joseph Blasi’s op-ed in the Los Angeles Times is also worth a read.

If Democrats really want to address inequality, they need new ideas

Enjoy this Wednesday reading.

Got an interesting article to share, drop us an email, media AT esopassociation.org.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, , ,

Iowa Economic Development Authority’s ESOP Initiative Program

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) has a new ESOP initiative program. According to the IEDA website:

“In addition to the general economic benefits, the IEDA believes that ESOPs are a promising tool for retaining businesses in Iowa communities. Across the state, there are businesses that have been operated in local communities for many years by owners committed to the welfare of the community. But when those owners wish to retire or to start a new business, they often need to sell the business. It can be a great thing for the community if the business is sold to the employees, through an ESOP, rather than to an out-of-state buyer that may shift jobs and profits out of the community. For these reasons, the State of Iowa recently passed two pieces of ESOP-related legislation.”

The ESOP Association’s Iowa/Nebraska Chapter recently hosted an ESOP Professional Roundtable where this initiative was a topic of discussion. Additional information can be found on the IEDA website including information about the ESOP formation assistance program which will help Iowa companies interested in ESOPs to defray the costs of the feasibility study.

“This is very positive evidence of a cost effective state program to promote ESOPs,” said ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling. “It’s very encouraging to see states considering programs to facilitate ESOP creation; clearly more state officers are seeing the benefits that employee-owned companies bring to the local economy. Iowa is certainly a leader on the local ESOP front — kudos to our Iowa Chapter leaders.”

Filed under: Chapter News, Economic Performance, Employee Ownership Message, , , ,

ESOP Article Round-Up

We thought we’d share a few articles on ESOPs and employee ownership that ran over the past week.

We recently highlighted this article by Professor Joseph Blasi which appeared on Salon on July 4, 2014: The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a powerful 1 percent.

On July 10th, Professor Blasi was a guest on The Hays Advantage Podcast, Kathleen Hays with co-host Vonnie Quinn covers business stories with top-tier guests. The podcast: Blasi Has Inequality Solution in ‘The Citizen’s Share’ (Audio). You can listen here. You will need to scroll down the page for the podcast link.

On July 12, 2014, Professor Blasi was featured on The Daily Beast: A Founding Father Profit Sharing Fix for Inequality.

On July 10, 2014, The Huffington Post Small Business section featured an article on ESOPs: Should You Think About an ESOP?

The Brookings Institute featured an article by Richard V. Reeves on July 8, 2014: Employee Ownership: The Case for Metro Action.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, ,

The Founding Fathers Feared a Powerful One Percent

Dr. Joseph Blasi, a preeminent researcher of employee ownership, published an interesting article on the founding fathers and how they feared a powerful one percent. We thought we’d share a link to the article with our readers today.

The Founding Fathers backed Thomas Piketty – and feared a powerful 1 percent

This 4th of July, remember the truth about founding fathers, and their prescient warnings about income inequality

Filed under: Employee Ownership Foundation, Employee Ownership Message, ,

New Pro-ESOP Bill, H.R. 4837

ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling, provides a legislative update to members regarding a new pro-ESOP bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, bill number H.R. 4837.

 

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, Member Services, ,

Pro-ESOP Bill Introduced in House

The ESOP Association sent out the following release today. We are also sharing the information with readers here.

For Immediate Release: June 12, 2014

Pro-ESOP Bill Introduced in House

June 12, 2014 (Washington, DC) – The ESOP Association expresses strong support for H.R. 4837, the Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act, introduced June 11, 2014 by Congressmen David G. Reichert (R-WA), Ron Kind (D-WI), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), and Pat Tiberi (R-OH).

H.R. 4837 is similar to S. 742, which was introduced in early 2013 by a bi-partisan group of Senators led by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). H.R. 4837 would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the Small Business Act to expand the availability of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) in S corporations.

“Research proves that ESOPs are more profitable, more productive, and provide sustainable jobs. We need policies to encourage employee stock ownership, and the proposed policies in H.R. 4837, modest in approach, should address core social issues such as adequate retirement security and making sure working Americans have an ownership stake in our capitalistic system,” stated ESOP Association President, J. Michael Keeling.

Keeling continued, “It is extremely pleasing to see these House members, all members of the House Ways and Means Committee, four Republicans and four Democrats, stand up for employee stock ownership through ESOPs. The ESOP Association notes its appreciation for the leadership role of its ally in the employee ownership community, the Employee-Owned S Corporations of America, in championing this new pro-ESOP legislation.”

###

The ESOP Association is the national trade association for companies with employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and the leading voice in America for employee ownership. The core cause of The ESOP Association is the belief that employee ownership will improve American competitiveness, increase productivity through greater employee participation, and strengthen our free enterprise economy. More information: website – www.esopassociation.org and blog – www.esopassociationblog.org.

Filed under: Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, , ,

2014 New England ESOP Company of the Year — Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc. — Sets a High Bar

The following article originally ran as the May 2014 Washington Report column in the ESOP Report. The ESOP Report is the newsletter of The ESOP Association. The full issue can be found on the Association’s website under Meet & Learn.

Sen Collins Moodys Event 5

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).

One thing that inside the beltway lobbyist types brag about is how they keep the grass roots, the voters, in a member of Congress’ district informed, and armed with tactics to make the case for the law[s] important to their jobs. Common is intelligence provided to an association’s reader about a piece of legislation of interest, talking points boiled down to one page or less, and when appropriate, some background on the member’s prior record on issues of interest. For example, at the recent 37th Annual Conference, the Association’s Washington staff provided attendees with a booklet, with perforated tear out pages to leave off when visiting a member of Congress, plus listings of members who were sponsoring pro-ESOP legislation, and a reminder to be gracious when acknowledging that Chair of Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp’s [R-MI], massive tax reform proposal did not reduce current law benefiting ESOPs and ESOP participants.

But, on April 11, 2014, Shawn Moody, President of Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc. in Gorham, ME, and his fellow employee owners, put on an event for Maine’s senior Senator Susan Collins that embodied a very, very powerful message of what employee ownership means to the men and women working in Maine ESOP companies.

What did Moody’s Collision do? Beginning in late February, Moody’s notified all the ESOP companies in Maine that are members of The ESOP Association about a “fund raiser” for Senator Collins. In this day and age, it seems that everyone running for Congress will not darken the doors of a fund raiser on their behalf unless tickets are $500 per person, and some of the New York City and Hollywood events run $5,000 per ticket; but not Moody’s — for $25 a person, their conference room event was open to the employee owners of Maine ESOP Association members. Repeat — $25 a person. A true grass roots fund raiser.

Sen Collins Moodys Event 3

Shawn Moody, President of Moody’s Collision Centers, Inc., located in Gorham, MA.

When she arrived, Senator Collins saw a room packed with women and men from nine different Maine ESOP companies. Some were dressed for office jobs, even some men in suits and ties. Some were dressed for their jobs on a manufacturing floor — work books, work shirts, khakis. Some had grey hair, or no hair — others were in their twenties.

The positive vibe of ESOPs was in the air.

While Senator Collins has been a consistent, and longtime advocate for ESOPs in the U.S. Senate, when she walked out the door, she knew that ESOPs in Maine represented the people of those ESOP companies — different income levels yes; but all part of the capitalistic system — owners.

A big tip of the hat to the leaders of Moody’s Collision — the New England Chapter’s 2014 ESOP Company of the Year — an example to follow.

Senator Collins, front row center, with individuals at the April 11th event in Gorham, ME.

Senator Collins, front row center, with individuals at the April 11th event in Gorham, ME.

Sen Collins Moodys Event 2

Senator Collins and Shawn Moody — introductions with other ESOP companies and employee owners at the event.

Filed under: Chapter News, Employee Ownership Message, Government Affairs, TEA Members, ,

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