Austin’s Commitment to Co-ops Grows, with a Strong Chance for City Funding

This Summer, ACBA has built on several years of work to see co-op technical service and education included in the City budget. ACBA has long advocated for this, with endorsements from the City’s Economic Prosperity Commission and the Small Business Division, which recommended $75,000 for co-op education, business outreach, and technical support. ACBA has organized emails to City Council offices from member businesses, and speakers to attend multiple budget hearings. On Wednesday night, several ACBA members and supporters showed up at City Hall to ask City Council directly for this funding.  Council will decide on the final 2020 budget between September 10th and 12th Please take a moment to contact your city council member and ask them to support co-ops in the new budget!

This funding has long been in the works, and enjoys broad support from City Council.  Please contact your city council member to make sure this is the year the funding finally happens and thank them for the efforts, past present and future!

2014

City Council Approves a resolution supporting the development of cooperative businesses and directing the City Manager to convene stakeholders and to develop recommendations that detail ways the City can promote the development of new and existing cooperative businesses, commonly referred to as co-ops.( SPONSOR: Council Member Laura Morrison CO 1: Council Member Kathie Tovo CO 2: Council Member William Spelman)

2017

March- Economic Prosperity commission recommends the City of Austin dedicate resources to cooperative development.

March- City Council Directs the City Manager to take steps to support cooperatively owned businesses.( Notes: SPONSOR: Council Member Delia Garza CO 1: Council Member Gregorio Casar CO 2: Council Member Jimmy Flannigan CO 3: Council Member Ann Kitchen )

October - EDD publishes recommendations in response to City Council Resolution, including a recommendation for total of $75,000 for worker cooperative outreach, education and technical assistance

2018

September - CM Tovo moves to enact the funding recommended by EDD in the 2019 city budget, joined by CMs Garza, Pool, Casar and Alter.  Motion fails.

2019

August - City Manager Cronk includes $2000 for co-op outreach in the draft budget.  CM Pool lists the funding as a priority for this budget cycle.  ACBA members speak at public hearing in support of the inclusion of the recommended $75,000 in this year’s budget.

September - Stay tuned to find out!

commit+to+coops.png