Choosing Between Government Procurement Preferences and Employee Ownership  - CLEO Skip to main content


In 2010, Adworkshop—a 33-percent employee-owned marketing agency based in Lake Placid N.Y.—became a certified women-owned business. As Adworkshop and other firms have experienced, government contracts can accelerate the revenues and growth of a business. Unfortunately, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) companies have encountered obstacles when trying to participate in procurement programs. For example, majority employee-owned companies are not eligible to be certified as a women-, minority-, or service-disabled veteran-owned small business under current federal policy.

Adele Connors, majority owner and CEO of Adworkshop, now faces such an obstacle. Adworkshop currently is considering a transition to 100 percent employee ownership over the next 10 years.

Read Article