Rashmi Dyal-Chand, a law professor at Northeastern University, recently published her book called the Collaborative Capitalism in American Cities: Reforming Urban Market Regulations where she offers a way forward for struggling businesses in America’s inner cities. Her book focuses on three collaborative business networks: Cooperative Home Care Associates and its sister organizations in the Bronx, New York, which includes the largest worker-owned cooperative in the US, ShoreBank of Chicago and the Southwest Key Programs.
Talking about collaborative business she says, “The thing that excites me about the collaborative business network model is that it distributes more income to the local workers who are involved in the businesses, which produces meaningful economic development at the local level.”
The point of argument in Dyal-Chand’s new book is that the average poverty rate for American inner cities is 32 per cent, which is more than double the national US rate. According to her, one way forward for these struggling urban centres is to encourage collaboration among locally operated businesses. She also says that it leads to immediate benefits for the neighbourhood by providing needed products and services.
When asked about gig economy she says, “The gig economy or otherwise called the sharing economy is thriving. We could use regulation to help the next generation of sharing-economy businesses to actually share. By sharing, I’m talking about the sharing of critical resources among a group of businesses that otherwise are not affiliated by virtue of ownership or board membership.”
Talking about what the lawmakers can do to help renew businesses in the inner city, Dyal-Chand says that it is important to look for businesses that are surviving on the ground and figure out ways to support those businesses. The work for lawmakers is to reform the range of laws that support the competitive form of capitalism by doing things like amending zoning laws, antitrust laws, and amending banking laws to support local business networks without violating safety and soundness requirements.