Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperative Laundry, the only employee-owned commercial laundry firm in the US, is at the heart of a community wealth building movement that has spread around the world. In 1977, a plan for worker ownership of Ohio’s Youngstown Sheet and Tube steel mill captured widespread media attention, significant bipartisan support and an initial $200 million in loan guarantees. The model identifies anchor institutions, incentivizes them to procure supplies and services locally, and supports cooperatives so profits stay with the workers. In 2012, the run-down industrial city of Preston in northern England adopted the model, and in 2018, was named the most improved city in the UK. In the US, Denver’s Center for Community Wealth Building has received a $360,000 economic development grant for a three-year initiative to launch six to nine new cooperatives in Denver and Aurora.

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