By Sarah Davasher-Wisdon
WDRB Guest Editorial
Our region has the potential to realize an incredible opportunity during the 2016 Kentucky legislative session. By passing Public Benefit Corporation legislation, which has made it through the House and is now under consideration in the Senate, we can access more than $1.5 billion in philanthropic dollars that are presently under-utilized statewide.
Public Benefit Corporations give businesses the freedom to consider stakeholders in addition to profit. Businesses, operating in the free market, decide how they can improve society then actively work to bring the vision to life. There are many Public Benefit Corporations that are already household names like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation and Warby Parker.
PBCs produce annual benefit reports, allowing investors and consumers to make an informed decisions, and differentiate between good and bad actors.
There is no added burden or cost to the state if Public Benefit Corporation legislation is passed. This voluntary status has no impact on existing corporate forms, taxes, or government regulation. Essentially, this creates a no-cost economic development program for states by organizing and legalizing a new market of social enterprises and impact investors.
Currently, thirty-one other states including Indiana have passed such legislation. It has wide-ranging, bipartisan support. In fact, some states with Public Benefit Corporation legislation have already reported revenue gains because of it.
With the success found in other states, Kentucky must pass this legislation to attract, grow and retain great businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible.
I’m Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, and that’s my Point of View.