Founded in 2017, the Greater Boston Chamber of Co-ops is an association of cooperatives from all sectors. We welcome as members worker-owned businesses, housing co-ops, consumer co-ops, and producer co-ops.
We are working to strengthen the cooperative economy through mutual support and by advocating for policies that raise awareness of and open opportunities for co-ops. We work in the following channels:
Foster opportunities for member education within and among cooperative entities in the areas of management, democratic process, and cooperative development; incubation of new cooperatives; and broader movement building.
Raise the profile of cooperative businesses and the benefits of the cooperative model among the general public.
Provide opportunities for collaboration within and across sectors and contribute to building a thriving cooperative ecosystem in the Greater Boston area.
Serve as an effective voice for cooperative business on legislative, business, social, governmental, and community issues affecting the cooperative economy.
Legally, the Chamber is a 501(c)(6) organization.
What We’ve Done
- Regular social and networking events for co-operators.
- Full page ads in the Metro newspaper promoting co-ops.
- Published an op-ed on cooperatives in the The Dig.
- Advised the Mayor’s office on their support for worker cooperatives. (They are now offering a series of public workshops on worker cooperatives, offering co-op specific technical assistance, and exploring financing mechanisms for cooperatives.)
- Met with Boston City Councilor Frank Baker, chair of workforce committee, and Council President Michelle Wu to advocate for worker cooperatives.
- Met with the Department of Neighborhood Development and Boston Home Center, educating them about various models of housing cooperatives and advocating for access to financing.
- Met with with the Housing Innovation Lab and suggested priorities for their new intern, who will be researching policies for cooperative housing.
- Two-way communication with the city, sharing their information and resources with our membership, in addition to advising them.
- Hosted a City Council hearing with six worker co-op panelists and four housing co-op panelists who gave testimony about the role of co-ops in building a more just economy in Boston. We filled the room with more than a hundred people attending and brought an unprecedented spotlight to co-ops in Boston.
- Articulated our priorities based on visioning meetings and brainstorming sessions at social events in 2015, expressed from member co-ops in nearly twenty one-on-one meetings, voted into the bylaws, and then prioritized and organized into working groups in 2017.