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What's an Equitable Business?

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The Equity Project

 What's the Plan?

Government has proven itself a powerful tool in growing businesses, and it is a tool over which we all have control. Below is a list of specific proposals (we call it the Equitable Business Agenda), which are all based on tried and true ways to stimulate business growth. Our goal is to harness these techniques to create a large-scale movement toward a more equitable economy.

Equitable Business Agenda:

We hope government will support the startup and growth of Equitable Businesses, defined as strong, sustainable businesses that equitably allocate ownership and wages. That means a living wage, minimum 10% profit sharing, and a minimum 10% ownership of company assets for all employees. Here are the proposals:

Introduce an Equitable Business Tax Credit, that gives credits on corporate tax proportional to the amount of profit sharing and ownership shared with line employees above a 10% minimum, culminating with no corporate taxes for 100% worker coops;

Carve out 2% for Equitable Business. Carve out 2% of public employee pension funds and federal-controlled endowments to be invested - through qualified investment professionals - in Equitable Businesses.

Give Equitable Businesses Access to Capital. Give Equitable Businesses equal attention by carving out funds in federal loan and investment programs (similar to help given to minority and small businesses);

Provide Expert Help to Grow New Equitable Businesses. Provide federal seed money to a network of experienced technical assistance providers and incubators to help start-up Equitable Business entrepreneurs. In the long term, this network will be funded through a fee paid by all Equitable Businesses equal to 2% of profits.

Award Contracts to Equitable Business. Give preference in the awarding of federal contracts to equitable businesses, adding additional bidding points proportional to the amount of ownership and profits shared;

Challenge Big Business and Nonprofits to follow the example. Provide incentives for all foundations, religious institutions, financial institutions and universities to invest 2% of their endowments or Community Reinvestment Act funds in Equitable Businesses.