On Tuesday, the Buffalo Common Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Council Members Michael J. LoCurto, David A. Rivera and Michael P. Kearns strongly urging the New York State Senate and Assembly to pass the legislation bills that would allow for the creation of benefit corporations within the state. The Council maintains that New York State should actively seek to create incentives for the establishment of B-Corps, which serve the public interest as evidenced in the B-Lab 2011 Annual Report.
"I am proud of my colleagues on the Common Council for supporting this unique legislation," said LoCurto (photo). "B-Corp legislation will help foster a more sustainable economy in Western New York. I believe it can help businesses in the City of Buffalo stay competitive with other regions while at the same time providing a public benefit by addressing social, environmental, and economic issues."
A benefit corporation, or B-Corp, is designed to harness the power of business in order to solve social and environmental problems. As a B-Corp, companies have a legal responsibility to community stakeholders, rather than just shareholders, and are therefore held accountable for maintaining a transparent fiscal policy, proving environmental stability and clearly outlining social benefits.
B-Corp legislation gives entrepreneurs and investors the option to establish and invest in businesses that meet higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency without increasing regulation or affecting the state budget. The state initiatives that would allow for the creation of B-Corps within New York State passed in the State Senate in June 2010 but were held up for further examination in the Assembly. Recently, the bill regained momentum by garnering bipartisan leadership in the Senate (Sens. William J. Larkin, Jr., and Daniel L. Squadron) and the support of Speaker of the State Assembly, Representative Sheldon Silver.
On behalf of Buffalo First!, which has worked to promote benefit corporation legislation in New York State, I congratulate our Common Council members for their leadership in urging Albany to swiftly pass legislation that will build this new class of corporations in New York State, committed to the triple bottom line and higher standards of accountability and transparency.
The statistical data associated with the impact benefit corporations are having on cities across the nation is compelling:
1. Preserve the Environment.
33% of B-Corps make products that preserve the environment
72% of B-Corps use renewable energy
B-Corps are 30 times more likely to work in a green building
2. Strengthen the Community.
74% of B-Corps have a charitable partner
B-Corps are 30 times more likely to donate 10% of profits or more to charity
Nine out of 10 B-Corps owned by local residents
3. Serve the Underserved.
47% of B-Corps employ more than 50% women
B-Corps are three times more likely to be owned by women or minorities
69% of B-Corps have suppliers in low-income areas
4. Create Quality Jobs.
95% pay a living wage to all employees (part-time or full-time) B-Corps are twice as like to offer health insurance to all employees and have a retirement plan
Nine out of 10 have "satisfied or engaged" employees
The City of Buffalo has the potential to benefit largely from this legislation. Permitting the creation of B-Corps is a big step towards establishing a more sustainable living economy and community in the city and throughout Western New York. Please join our Common Council and commit to the passage of B-Corp legislation.
Sign the petition now
For more information on benefit corporations and how you can get involved, please visit here.