Ownership
Shared Ownership Center @ Nexus (SOC@N)

Changing the face of ownership by promoting worker cooperatives, real estate investment cooperatives, and other shared ownership models.

The Local Fund

Nexus is proud to have been selected to administer the Local Fund which comprises two cooperative development programs: Worker Ownership and Community Ownership. This fund was launched by the City of Saint Paul in 2024 and will continue through 2026.

Local Fund: Worker Ownership

The Local Fund: Worker Ownership (WO) will support the development of worker-cooperatives. It is a $1.25M program that includes technical assistance and grants for worker cooperative start-ups, for businesses conversions to worker ownership, and for existing co-ops.

Schedule a consultation to learn how to apply.

Each project that applies for a grant will be reviewed by a grant committee consisting of Nexus Staff, City of Saint Paul staff and City of St Paul Community members. General eligibility criteria include:

  • Start-ups receiving technical assistance must have at least three (3) founders, at least one of whom is a Saint Paul resident, and the startup should commit to incorporating in Saint Paul.
  • Cooperatives receiving Emergency Financial Hardship Assistance must have at least three (3) worker-owners, have existed as a small business for at least two (2) years, be located in Saint Paul, and must demonstrate negative impacts from COVID-19
  • Cooperatives receiving start-up/expansion/transition grants must be in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT) in Saint Paul OR meet SBA disadvantaged business qualifications.

The above eligibility criteria were determined in conjunction with the City of Saint Paul and the Federal Government.

The goals of The Local Fund: Worker Ownership

  • Improve the financial condition of Saint Paul workers through Worker Ownership opportunities. We are specifically looking to support BIPOC workers.
  • Improve the financial stability of low-income Saint Paul neighborhoods through support of Worker-owned Small Businesses.
  • Increase number of banks, Community Development Financial Institutions, and other Capital Providers funding cooperative development in Saint Paul.

The Shared Ownership Center at Nexus will offer technical assistance and grants to help achieve the Local Fund: Worker Ownership’s goals. We will support businesses with technical assistance and training:

  • Business and financial planning services
  • Help establish cooperative business structures
  • Assistance with general small business needs

The Local Fund: Worker Ownership will offer the following grants to support worker co-op development:

  • Business expansion or start-up grants
  • Emergency Financial Hardship Assistance grants
  • Construction grants for the rehabilitation of commercial properties to prepare for a new business opportunity
  • Stipends for members of small co-op startups and conversions

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP1612 awarded to Nexus Community Partners by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Local Fund: Community Ownership

The Local Fund: Community Ownership (CO) supports the development of shared ownership commercial real-estate in the City of Saint Paul. It is a $1.25M program that includes technical assistance and grants for predevelopment, acquisition, demolition, and rehabilitation of commercial and mixed-use vacant properties located in Qualified Census Tracts.

Schedule a consultation to learn how to apply.

The goals of The Local Fund: Community Ownership

  • Increase and diversify the pool of future community ownership entities
  • Increase and diversify local community ownership in Saint Paul
  • Increase number of investors, lenders, and other Capital Providers who funding community ownership in Saint Paul.

The Shared Ownership Center at Nexus will offer technical assistance and grants to help achieve the Local Fund: Community Ownership’s goals. We will offer the following technical assistance:

  • Educational events on cooperative and shared ownership models
  • Feasibility studies for early stage projects.

The Local Fund: Community Ownership will offer the following grants to support shared ownership of commercial real-estate:

  • Pre-development grants, including funding for attorneys, environmental work, financial modeling, architectural design, surveys, and due diligence.
  • Acquisition, Demolition and Rehabilitation (ADR) Grants for eligible projects that have completed predevelopment

All eligible Community Ownership projects must include a shared ownership entity, such as a cooperative or land trust, and they must include a commercial component.

Some examples of eligible participants include: real estate investment cooperatives, commercial tenant cooperatives, community investment trust, commercial community land trusts, and other shared ownership entities approved by the City. Projects must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Projects must have a prospective property on the city’s vacant building list—not the vacant lot list—that is also located in Qualified Census Tract in the City of Saint Paul.
  • Prospective Community Ownership entities—meaning those with pending incorporation—need to have at least three founders, at least one of whom is a Saint Paul resident.
  • Existing Community Ownership entities—meaning those already incorporated—must either have a majority of the members must be residents of Saint Paul OR must have articles and/or bylaws with a geographic focus in a QCT in Saint Paul.
  • All eligible projects must include a commercial component.

These eligibility criteria were determined in conjunction with the City of Saint Paul and the Federal Government.

This project is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP1612 awarded to Nexus Community Partners by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Connect with the Shared Ownership Center @ Nexus (SOC@N).