Downtown Sounds to become worker-owned cooperative

Blumenthal got the idea for transforming his business into a worker-owned cooperative because of his friendship with the former sole proprietors of Real Pickles in Greenfield, who successfully transitioned their business into a worker-owned cooperative. The idea began to really take off around two years ago thanks to the involvement of Jim Armenti, who has taught music at Downtown Sounds for four decades, and David Faytel, a former business professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Blumenthal said that Faytel came up with a plan to make the store more profitable and to transition it to a cooperative model.

“His job is restructuring businesses,” Armenti said.

Blumenthal said the store is doing much better than it was before the plan. And in April, Downtown Sounds will have an event to attract investors who will allow the workers to create the cooperative.

“They will be raising the capital to pay for these people to take over the store,” Armenti said.

“It’s going to pay dividends,” said Blumenthal, of the shares that will be on sale.

Separate from the investors, there will also be a membership program in the future. The worker-owners will also put in their own money.

“I’m really excited about everyone in the community learning about it,” Wilde said. “I definitely want to do this.”

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