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Last updated: 5/18/17

Employee ownership help

We have information to help you build and grow your worker cooperative or employee-owned firm in the City of Boston.

Our Worker Cooperative Initiative supports co-ops and businesses owned by employees. City tools include:

Fill out our contact form and we’ll let you know more about what the City has to offer:

Get employee ownership information

Have questions?

If you have questions about employee cooperatives, or want to learn more about getting involved, contact Jason Ewas at jason.ewas@boston.gov, or call 617-635-3895.

What is employee ownership?

Background information

A worker cooperative is a business entity owned and democratically run by the people who work in it.

An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is a defined contribution employee benefit plan. It allows employees to become owners of stock in the company they work for.

There are many examples of both across the US, including Cooperative Home Care Associates (worker co-op) and Harpoon Brewery (ESOP).

Co-ops vs. regular business model

Co-ops are similar to traditional businesses in that they aim to create a profit and become self-sustaining.

Co-ops are different in that they often have bottom lines aside from making a profit, including:

  • worker well-being
  • community well-being, and
  • environmental sustainability.

Map of Boston-area employee co-ops

Greater Boston firms by category

Firms by category
Name Description contact location
A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative Designing and building landscapes with integrity, pride, and care for the environment and community.

info@ayardandahalf.com
781-788-8855

Boston (based in Waltham), MA
Cero Zero waste recycling and local composting.

CERO.coop@gmail.com
617-291-5855

Boston, MA

Great Sky Solar Boston’s only employee-owned solar installer.

info@greatskysolar.com
888-966-0726

Boston, MA

Vida Verde The team of women trained on cleaning alternatives that do not harm the environment.

vidaverde@verdeamarelo.org
617-202-5775

Brighton, MA

Community Builders Cooperative Works with and supports community development groups promoting affordable housing and sustainable development.

info@communitybuilders.coop
617-623-8340

Somerville, Cambridge, MA

Restoring Roots: Landscaping Co-Op Creates beautiful, peaceful, multi-purpose, and food-producing landscapes.

info@restoringroots.net
617-942-0561

Boston, MA

Placetailor, Inc. Builds high-performance "Passive House" homes in Boston.

staff@placetailor.com
617-639-0633

Boston, MA

Name Description Contact Location

Agaric

Agarics is a web development cooperative.

Online web form
508-283-3557

Cambridge, MA

Broadway Bicycle School

A collectively run bicycle shop that currently has four collective members.

broadway@broadwaybicycleschool.com
617-868-3392

Cambridge, MA

Dollars and Sense

Magazine that publishes economic news, analysis, and critiques of the mainstream media's coverage of the economy.

dollars@dollarandsense.org
617-447-2177

Boston, MA

Pro Arte

The innovative, musician-run orchestra brings a creative mix of classical and new music to the concert stage.

info@proarte.org
617-779-0900

Boston, MA

Fields Corner Business Lab

The co-working space brings together entrepreneurs, small businesses and community development organizations.

contact@fieldscornerbusinesslab.com
617-982-3225

Dorchester, MA

Boston Tech Collective

Offers tech support and computer services to the Greater Boston area.

help@bostontechcollective.com
617-639-1230

Somerville, MA

Research Action Design (RAD)

RAD uses community-led research and collaborative design to build the power of grassroots social movements.

info@rad.cat

Cambridge, Brooklyn, Joshua Tree

RoxDot Sweep and Scoop   Contact RoxDot Boston, MA

Quilted

They provide strategic consulting, graphic design, and web development services.

ben@quilted.coop
617-283-5764

Boston, MA and Berkeley, CA

CDS Consulting Co-Op

Specializes in helping clients meet their goals while using ethical business practices. Contact page for CDS  
Name Description Contact Location

Red Sun Press

Red Sun Press is a printing and graphic design shop.

Eric Johnson: ejohnson@redsunpress.com
Gelitza Melendez: csr@redsunpress.com
617-524-6822

Boston, MA

Name Description Contact Location

Just Crust

Just Crust is "committed to two main tenets": fair wages and sustainability.

info@thejustcrust.com
617-497-4111

Cambridge, MA

Restaurant Opportunity Center Boston

Their mission is to improve working conditions in the restaurant industry.

maddie@rocunited.org
857-233-2271

Boston, MA

Name Description Contact Location

Cooperative Fund for New England

The loan fund is for community development.

cfne@coopfund.coop
800-818-7833

New England

Greater Boston Chamber of Cooperatives

Dedicated to strengthening and expanding the greater Boston cooperative economy.  

Boston, MA

Boston Cooperative Business Association

Works to build a more just, democratic, and sustainable economy. 617-875-7694

Boston, MA

Boston Cooperative Investment Club

Invests in cooperatives, as well as organizations and associations that support cooperatives.

boston.coop.investment.club@gmail.com

Boston, MA

Cooperative Development Institute

Specializes in helping people work together to plan and launch a cooperatively owned business.

info@cdi.coop
413-665-1271

Northampton, MA

Boston Center for Community Ownership

Provides education and training, facilitation, and consulting services.

sc@bcco.coop

Boston, MA

Worker-Owned and Run Cooperative Network of Greater Boston (WORC'N)

Facilitates connections between existing cooperatives. WORC'N contact form

Boston, MA

Name Description Contact Location

Boston Natural Areas Network (BNAN)

Nonprofit dedicated to preserving properties of scenic, historic, and ecological value in Mass.

info@bostonnatural.org
617-542-7696

Boston, MA

Berkeley Community Garden (run by BNAN) A community of 159 farmers in Boston’s South End.

Community Garden contact form
617-542-7696

Boston, MA

Bloombrick Urban Agriculture

New owner-operated indoor farm located in the heart of Cambridge.

bloombrick@gmail.com
413-237-4052

Cambridge, MA

City Growers

Their mission is to transform vacant lots in Boston into intensive urban farms.

info@citygrowers.net
617-522-0205

Dorchester, MA

Name Description Contact Location

The Food Project

Leverages sustainable agriculture to create social and personal change among Massachusetts youth.

hhammel@thefoodproject.org
617-442-1322

Boston, MA

Drumlin Farm, Lincoln

You can pay for 15 to 100 percent of your share by working at the farm.

dfgrower@massaudubon.org
781-259-1259

Lincoln, MA

ReVision Urban Farm, Dorchester

ReVision Family Home has given shelter and hope to pregnant and parenting homeless women.  

Dorchester, MA

Name Description Contact Location

Boston Building Resources

Inspires, educates, and empowers homeowners to increase the efficiency and value of their homes.

info@bostonbuildingresources.com
617-442-2262

Boston, Ma

Unitarian Universalist Community Cooperatives

Grows intentional housing communities of spiritual practice, sustainability, and social change.

info@lucystonecoop.org

Roxbury, MA

Lucy Stone Cooperative An intentional community living the values and tradition of Unitarian Universalism through cooperative home ownership.

info@lucystonecoop.org

Roxbury, MA

Margaret Moseley Cooperative The second Unitarian Universalism Community Cooperatives house.

info@lucystonecoop.org

Roxbury, MA

Boston Community Cooperatives

Builds community through cooperative living, member education, neighborhood improvement, and collective action.

bostoncommunitycooperatives@gmail.com

Boston, Ma

Seedpod Seedpod is a 12-bedroom housing cooperative located near Fields Corner.  

Dorchester, MA

The Canopy They believe that a different model for urban living with children can exist — one that is sustainable, practical, and fun.    
Name Description Contact Location

Women of Color Cooperative Boston

Culturally sensitive co-operative for women of color, focused on food access, homeschooling, and homeownership.  

Boston, MA

Equal Exchange Co-Op

Mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound.

orders@equalexchange.coop
774-776-7400

Boston, MA

Dedham Square Artist Guild

Members of the cooperative get a home for their work and an opportunity to connect with the community.

staff@dedhamguild.com
781-329-1890

Dedham, MA

Make Shift Boston

A cooperative workspace of diverse working artists, activists, and creative people from across disciplines.

hello@makeshiftboston.org
617-652-0549

Boston, MA

Name Description Contact Location

Commonwealth Kitchen

Shared kitchens with integrated business assistance. Get help creating and growing dynamic food-based businesses and careers.

Commonwealth Kitchen web contact form
617-522-7900

Boston, MA

Dorchester Co-op

An initiative to build a community and worker-owned cooperative market that provides economic opportunity and healthy, affordable food.

info@dorchesterfoodcoop.com

Dorchester, MA

Organic Valley Co-op

Line of organic vegetables and dairy products, owned by family farmers.

organic@organicvalley.coop
888-444-6455

 

Cabot Cheese Co-op

A co-op of 1,200 dairy farm families located throughout New York and New England.

Cabot Cheese web contact form
207-541-9344

New England and New York (Waitsfield, VT)

Harvest Co-op Markets

Boston's only natural food co-op with two locations and more than 4,000 members. 617-661-1580

Cambridge, MA

Olio Collective Catering

A worker-owned business dedicated to sustainable sourcing, workplace fairness, and the celebration of food as culture.

hello@olioboston.com
617-804-1456

Boston, MA

Name Description Contact Location
Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) The cooperative is a nationally recognized, worker-owned home care agency in the Bronx

info@chcany.org
718-993-7104

Bronx, NY

Data Commons Directory

Search a directory of co-ops.    

Equitable Economic Development Fellowship

Boston was one of six cities picked to take part in the inaugural year of the Equitable Economic Development Fellowship.

About the fellowship

The National League of Cities (NLC), PolicyLink, and the Urban Land Institute run the fellowship. It’s funded by the Surdna Foundation and the Open Society Foundations. The two-year fellowship aims to build our local economy through equity, transparency, sustainability, and community engagement.

City of Boston Fellows

The City of Boston will receive support and technical help from NLC, PolicyLink, ULI, and its peer cities. Joyce Linehan, Trinh Nguyen, John Smith, and Jason Ewas are participating in the program as fellows. They will receive support from across City Hall. The fellowship does not include direct funding support for putting programs in place.

Equity challenge

The City of Boston team picked economic inequality as an equity challenge. They then selected employee ownerships as a way to address it. Our fellowship team believes that employee ownership offers a chance for citizens throughout the City to build wealth.