Capacity Building

We believe that the shared control of resources and wealth is a key component to a just society.

We work toward the equitable control of resources through cooperative and other non-exploitative institutions, with a particular focus on Indigenous, Black and Brown communities that have been historically exploited and marginalized. Our partners are community-based institutions, worker-owned cooperatives, local organizing and grassroots campaigns that are building power in New York immigrant communities and communities of color.

We bring to the table creative technical assistance and legal solutions aligned with dismantling racial, economic, and social oppression. The types of services we offer include:

  • Worker Cooperatives: Assist with the formation of worker cooperatives, which give workers greater control over their working conditions, income and economic futures.

  • Not-for-Profits/ Unincorporated Associations: Assist community-based organizations with incorporation, development of governance documents, and tax-exempt status (501(c)(3)), compliance with other nonprofit, employment, and tax laws, and operational issues, such as fundraising, board development, and the development of effective policies and procedures.

  • Small Business Commercial Leases: Give legal advice and assistance to small businesses seeking help with commercial lease issues, including assistance with new leases or lease renewals and aiding with landlord harassment issues connected to a lease. (We do not provide litigation support for small businesses.)

  • General Legal Support: Support with contract review and drafting, drafting employee manuals and agreements, and understanding city regulations that affect operations.

  • Trainings: Provide legal training for “coop incubators” and worker owners on such topics as KYR for immigrant-led cooperatives, conflict resolution, advanced employment law issues, advanced tax law issues and leadership development and facilitation.

  • Policy: Give technical assistance to local campaigns on public policy efforts, including citywide policies affecting small businesses and worker cooperatives and statewide policies affecting worker cooperatives.

In the news

Our Capacity Building team strengthens the solidarity economy in New York and supports workers as owners and decision makers. In collaboration with our longtime partners, the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives and Green Worker Cooperatives, we legally formed New York