Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Local Ownership in Bemidji

I love co-ops, but there are more parts of the generative economy model, such as employee ownership. MPR this morning featured a story about Bemidji, Minn., grocer Joe Lueken, who is selling his small chain of stores to his employees through a multi-year stock sale.

Store managers say the stores could have fetched at least $30 million from outside owners. Instead, 400 employees will take over ownership on Sunday and pay Lueken out of store profits over the next five to seven years.
Maria Svare, front-end manager at one of the stores,
worried that if Lueken had sold the stores to someone else, new management might have come in and fired or replaced existing workers. She said keeping the grocery stores locally owned instead of chain-owned means the profits will stay in the community. 
That's it exactly. Thanks, MPR for giving us this bit of good news, and thanks to Joe Lueken for thinking of his employees and his community.


More info for business owners who are interested in selling to their employees is available through the Ohio Center for Employee Ownership.

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