New Help for Worker-Owned Companies in Cincinnati

Staffanation’s interim owner, Tim Rettig, was recently featured in the Cincinnati Business Courier article about worker-owned companies. The topic, and the reason why Rettig calls himself an “interim owner,” all tie together.  

A serial entrepreneur, Rettig launched Intrust IT, a managed service provider in Blue Ash in 1992. Then, in 2019, he sold the company to its employees as part of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Rettig then purchased Staffanation, a staffing agency in Fairfield, with the goal of transforming it into a worker-owned company in the next five to 10 years. 
Worker-owned companies are in the news in Cincinnati partly due to the creation of a new fund by Co-op Cincy and a national agency. “Co-op Cincy and Seed Commons, a national cooperative group, have provided the first $3 million for the Business Legacy Fund, which will help employees finance worker ownership of businesses,” the Business Courier reported.

Small Business Crisis

This new fund comes at a critical time. More than 40 percent of small business owners in the U.S. are over age 55, according to Co-op Cincy. Many of the businesses face the risk of closure due to the pandemic or owner retirement. The new Business Legacy Fund offers assistance to businesses in Cincinnati that would like to transition to employee-owned companies. This type of transition saves jobs and creates economic stability and financial equality. 

The deadline to apply for aid from the Business Legacy Fund is November 14. Groups of employees can qualify for about $20,000 to help them assess their companies’ value and take other steps. While the fund isn’t targeting specific industries, it is earmarked for worker-owned companies that will continue to do business in Cincinnati.

Help for Worker-Owned Companies

Do you have questions about worker-owned companies? If you would like more information or want to apply for funding, go to www.becomeworkerowned.org.

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