The COVID-19 outbreak and associated social distancing measures are hitting small businesses hard, and worker-owners of cooperative enterprises around the country will struggle to cover payroll and rent costs during this time. The Seed Commons Worker Response Fund will provide direct support to worker-owners at cooperative businesses most affected by closures and downturn associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, such as food service businesses, custom manufacturing, and child care cooperatives.
Seed Commons - a national network of cooperative loan funds, anchored by The Working World - is designed to support those workers who are most marginalized from the economy, and these communities are the ones that are going to be most impacted by closures, cancellations, and economic downturn in the coming months. Our community - made up of low income workers, workers of color, sole income earners, single parents, and immigrant workers - is coming together to raise a collective emergency fund to ensure all of our workers’ needs are met and our cooperatives can stay open during this crisis.
Help us make sure that the worker-owners on the frontlines of building a democratic economy have the resources they need to weather this storm.
Funds will be made available to cooperatives across our network according to a structured process of need and rationing approved by our board. Donations will be tax deductible and directly support workers, providing much needed assistance in a time of urgent need. Seed Commons member loan funds will also be working with borrowing businesses directly to reassess project plans and repayment timelines to ensure sustainability even in this time of uncertainty.
The Working World builds cooperative businesses in low-income communities, using a groundbreaking model that combines non-extractive finance with tailor-made business support.
More broadly, we see ourselves as part of a burgeoning movement of movements against the dual contemporary crises of socio-economic inequality and climate change.
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