Exciting news: this afternoon, our Board President Dunbar Oehmig of Red House Building signed the check for the very first loan made by our Vermont Employee Ownership Loan Fund!
In collaboration with the Cooperative Fund of New England, our fund is assisting the employees of Vermont Computing Cooperative of Randolph in purchasing the business from its founder and reorganizing it as a worker co-op. Several of the then-employees attended our 2014 Conference, and it is thrilling to see the progress they’ve made over the last year. For more details on this conversion, check out the press release we sent out today!
Making this loan is a big step for the VEOC, and we’d like to especially thank our volunteer board members who generously lent their expertise to the project, especially Tabitha Croscut of SES Advisors and Sarah Bauer of Merchants Bank. The process has been extremely educational both process-wise and in developing a network of lending partners who ‘get’ employee ownership, and we’re aiming to follow up this success in the New Year with a loan to another possible conversion that, if we can successfully assemble a financing package, will create Vermont’s largest worker co-op!
Consider Investing in Employee Ownership!
While these two deals combined will nearly max out the resources of our revolving fund until loan payments rebuild its balance, there are more possible conversions on the horizon, if the financing is available. To help bridge that gap and support the growth of employee ownership in Vermont, the VEOC is assembling a list of individuals who might be interested in making loans in support of worker co-op conversions. Often these deals are relatively small, so an investment of even a few thousand dollars could make a meaningful impact. If you’re interested in joining the list to be notified when such investment opportunities arise, please take a moment to fill out this form.