Envisioning Businesses by, for, and of the People
With the foundation of the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Corporation (BNSC) and PUSH Green, the Zone’s local economy has spawned its first non-profit, community-controlled business enterprises. Rather than extracting profits from the neighborhood, these social enterprises harvest the public and private resources of PUSH’s successful grassroots campaigns and invest these fruits back into the growing local economy.
BSNC and PUSH Green are only the beginning. The revitalization of the GDZ has the potential to create many other similar social enterprises.
The possibilities are endless: in addition to weatherization, the revitalization of neighborhoods like the GDZ can spawn opportunities for enterprises and high-road employment in renewable energy installations, brown fields clean-up, river restoration, infrastructural repair, healthy food retail, childcare, and even recreation services and entertainment.
National Models for Growing a Stronger, Local Economy
The Alliance to Develop Power (ADP) in Springfield, Mass., one of PUSH’s strongest national partners, show us one route PUSH can take in the future. Like PUSH, ADP advocates on the national level for public housing, and financial and immigration reform.
ADP also runs educational programs that increase financial literacy and leadership training for its direct action campaigns – campaigns that led to the creation of their own housing cooperative involving more than 800 units of low-cost housing, a landscaping company, a maintenance and construction company called United for Hire (logo above), a housing weatherization company, a worker’s center, and a food cooperative.