This blog post is for our founding member-owners who invested in the co-op prior to October 2020.
Happy Co-op Month! This October, we wanted to thank you for investing in your community-owned cooperative! Your $200 equity investment provided vital funding needed to get our doors open last December!
Simply put, we would not be where we are today if it weren't for your support!
Last October, our membership voted “yes” to an increase in our equity share price from $200 to $300. When our membership voted, they were looking at both the short-term and long-term needs of our Co-op. Our financial projections demonstrated that we needed to raise additional equity from both current and future owners to ensure our success.
This change and the way we structured it was about our immediate survival, positioning the co-op to reach our long-term potential, and ensuring equitability amongst founding and new members alike.
Immediately after the vote, 300 long-time members sprung into action, adding their additional $100 by December. This gave us the final $30K push needed to open our doors after facing major set-backs caused by Covid-19. The pandemic caused construction delays, cost increases, and added necessary improvements to keep our staff and customers safe, healthy, and satisfied. We would not be open today without the support of those 300 owners.
Since then another 190 long-time members added their $100, bringing us up to $49K in additional grassroots community capital. This additional $19k allowed for us to make additional improvements to our space, product selection, and staff compensation and benefits all of which were needed to keep our young store afloat in an challenging, ever-changing environment that left countless well-seasoned businesses floundering.
Now, it’s your turn. We are writing today to encourage you to take the next step in building our financial foundation. If you are still at the $200 equity mark, and there's no better time than now to pay your $100 balance in order to reach the full $300 equity!
We rely on a growing base of owner equity to ensure a strong financial foundation that will allow our store to continue to grow and improve so that we can do more to live our mission of "Using food as a force for good - at our tables, in our community and for our planet."
Owner Equity is fundamentally important to our Co-op and this blog post explains why.
Here are two easy ways you can help our October Ownership & Equity Drive and pay off or start to pay off your equity owed:
- Pay it off! If you are able, please add $100 to your equity investment today!
- If you are not able to add $100 right now, please sign up for an installment plan, or simply add an amount you can afford today.
Your investment will help us reach our October goal of raising $8,000 in additional equity. It will also ensure that you will be a member in good standing so you can enjoy the continued benefits of member-ownership which include:
- Our Community & Store - Build the local equity needed for South Philly to thrive.
- Democratic Elections - Elect and have the opportunity to run for the board.
- Owner Appreciation Days - Get special discounts and enjoy free product samples (this is coming up on 10/19!)
- Bulk Discounts - Save on case quantities and get special deals.
- Patronage Refunds - Share in the profits based on patronage of our store.
- Local Business Discounts - Save at over 40 participating local businesses.
- Workshops & Events - Participate in free community workshops and events.
We are asking every member-owner who is not yet at the $300 equity level to sign up for an affordable, flexible installment plan by the end of the year in order to stay active.
As a consumer co-op, we own the co-op equally and that’s why we ask everyone to contribute the same amount of equity. If you need an extended payment plan, we’re here to work with you. Just $5/month will keep you active. And if you are facing economic hardship, our Community Equity Fund is here to help.
We know that the holiday season can be busy and that is why we’re asking you to take this important step today.
*BONUS* If you add equity in October you'll get:
- Entered into a raffle to win a $100 SPFC gift card or a pair of Eagles tickets for a game in December
- A 10% off coupon good through the end of the year
- A shout out on the wall in the store
*For raffle: $10 minimum equity to enter and one entry per day max
If you need assistance with making your payment online, these instructions may help. You can also stop by the store and add equity or sign up for a CEF scholarship with the help of one of our friendly cashiers.
Your additional Equity will make a lasting impact on your Cooperative, setting us up for success so that we can continue to navigate the changing landscape and advance our mission for the better of our whole community. We know we can do it with your help!
Lori Burge, General Manager