Sen. Baldwin Visits Worzalla Publishing to Promote Small Business Bill
By Joe Bachman
STEVENS POINT — “I have seen so many cautionary tales of when the ownership is from thousands of miles away.”
Strong words from Senator Tammy Baldwin in her promise to give workers a seat at the table for Wisconsin’s businesses. Baldwin visited Worzalla Publishing in Stevens Point on Wednesday to tour the facility and find out how a 100 percent employee-owned company such as Worzalla Publishing has impacted its employees and community.
According to Baldwin, she has secured new provisions in the 2018 fiscal year spending bill, which would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to engage and promote future employee ownership structures. This also includes involvement in SBA’s employee ownership lending program. Baldwin also highlighted her Worker Owned Wealth Act.
“It’s a challenge to convert from a family-owned business to an employee owned business, often because of the financing.” said Baldwin.
Baldwin emphasized the importance of local businesses around the state to look at the opportunities of employee-owned businesses, as opposed to selling to out-of-state investors.
“It’s easy to sell one company to investors, but there’s a real opportunity if the workers can become empowered, and if there’s huge skin in the game for the company’s success when everyone owns it,” said Baldwin. “Everybody is invested in that success, so we need to have more creative opportunities for financing to make those work.”
Senator Baldwin was joined by Jim Fetherston, President and CEO of Worzalla Publishing, as well as employees and members of the leadership team of Worzalla Publishing.