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Keep the Doors Open:  For Businesses in NYC and Massachusetts


ICA’s Business Resilience Program

Are you weighing the daunting decision of taking on more debt vs. cutting your losses and shutting down?

Are you among the “baby boomers” who own 50% of small businesses, and your business was your retirement plan?

Are you struggling with how to save jobs and do right by your employees?

Are you worried about how to pay existing loans when revenue has slowed or stopped?

Do you care about preserving your company’s legacy post-pandemic for your family, customers, and community?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, this program might be right for you.

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Program Overview


Due to COVID-19, local businesses are facing an unprecedented risk of closure.  At stake are the loss of good jobs, local ownership, and retirement savings for owners tied up in their business.  Because of the existing racial and gender wealth gap, we know that business closures will disproportionately impact business owners and workers of color, women, and immigrant communities who already suffer from less access to capital.

But this is not inevitable! Employee ownership is a proven solution that businesses can use during this crisis to save jobs and keep wealth in our communities. With financing for a partial or full buyout, your employees will become the new generation of owners, while you secure a fair price for the business to support a secure and dignified retirement.  You can position your workers to not only save their own jobs, but to begin to grow their wealth in the years to come.

Employee Ownership: A Necessary Addition to the Coronavirus Economic Response
Read ICA’s Statement

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Types of Support Available


All eligible businesses that submit applications will receive a free consultation. 

If accepted into the program, other services include:

  • Professional advising on financial value of your business and feasibility assessment on how to exit your business on your desired timeline by transitioning the business to your employees. We will evaluate whether employee ownership is compatible with your goals so that you can compare it against other options.

  • Identifying and assembling the right mix of financing that would enable your employees to buy you out, without burdening the business or employees beyond their means.

  • User-friendly business tools (including cash flow and debt management) to help stabilize your company in response to the COVID-19 impact and shore up value for you and future owners.

  • Facilitating the sale of all or part of the business and creating the relevant legal and operational documents through direct assistance from our business experts or referral network – working with your company’s stakeholders, accountants, and attorneys.

  • Ongoing workforce training and business support for managers and key staff before, during, and after the transition.  This could include everything from how to build a transition team to training employees to think and act like owners.

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Program Eligibility

  • Business is located in Massachusetts or one of the five boroughs of NYC.

  • Business employs at least ten people. (If your business is less than ten employees but has a committed team with good tenure, you are still welcome to apply and applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis).

  • Businesses in any industry qualify. Some examples include: industrial/manufacturing (including food manufacturing); logistics; installation/repair/building services; healthcare and social assistance (including home care and child care); construction; landscaping; business and professional services (including IT); arts/culture.


Consistent with ICA’s mission, businesses that are owned or staffed by people of color, women, immigrants, and/or are in historically marginalized communities or communities experiencing disinvestment or displacement are encouraged to apply.

Additionally, businesses that are essential to the economic recovery efforts – including but not limited to child care, home care, grocery, and main street businesses – are encouraged to apply.

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Apply Now


To apply for ICA’s Business Resilience Program, please fill out this simple application form by June 1, 2020. We will contact you within 5 business days of receiving your application to schedule a phone call to discuss your eligibility.


Contact keepdoorsopen@icagroup.org with any questions not answered in the FAQ section below.

This program is supported by the Massachusetts Center for Employee Ownership (MassCEO), funded by the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, and the New York City Council administered by the Department of Small Business Services.

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Frequently Asked Questions


last updated April 23, 2020

What is employee ownership?

Can employees with limited resources buy a business from its original owners?

What do I do if I work at a company where I think the owner might be on the verge of closing, but I am not in management?  Can I do anything?

How do I know if employee ownership is right for my business?

Do I have to be a retiring business owner?

Covid-19 Resources for Businesses and Individuals

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Resources about Employee Ownership

What is a Worker Cooperative?

Six Myths about Worker Ownership

What is an ESOP?

Co-op Conversions at Scale

Resources about Employee Ownership

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Business Profile: Metis Construction

Business Profile: PV Squared

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