Posts Tagged ‘financing’

“Across the country, people are recognizing that cooperatives are trustworthy, responsive and major assets to their communities. What makes co-ops different from other, investor-controlled businesses is the people who own it. Shoppers who depend on a store to meet their needs are the owners and investors in co-ops.

Instead of maximizing stockholder returns, the co-op will strive to serve the members, customers, local producers, store employees and the community at large–keeping the business balanced and sustainable. Your loan is an essential part of the capital that will create this strong, independent grocery store. It is an investment in quality food, meaningful jobs, and community education. Please consider a loan now. The co-op needs you, and you need the co-op!”

Stuart Reid
Executive Director, Food Co-op Initiative


“I envision  Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market as one venue that can help with food security by providing a reliable local outlet for many smaller producers.  We can still buy the more exotic foods from far away, but we can buy a lot more of the basics much closer to home.”

Tom Paragi – see full article here


“After considerable rumination can only agree that the cooperative is of vital importance to us, and indeed people everywhere should be engaged in a similar effort. Having read Slow Money by Woody Tasch and also Ultrametabolism by Mark Hyman I am seeing the world quite differently.

As a child I had polio and over recent years my mobility has been declining, severely. I learned of the possibility that this may not simply be an effect of the polio when reading Ultrametabolism. Toxins and allergies can cause joint inflammation. This seemed unlikely however I started on an organic diet, no sugars of any kind, no engineered foods, and pretty much nothing out of a box. In just two weeks my mobility has recovered to the way it was 10 years ago and I am both ecstatic about this and suddenly an evangelical community focused whole foods advocate.

It makes my toes curl, now that they can curl again, to see a child munching on their corn fructose and trans fat made thousands of miles away mass produced concoctions, their parents totally ignorant of the multifaceted consequences.

Thank you. Power to the Coop!”

Paul Morgan


“The availability of diverse and safe food is a vastly under-rated luxury of our modern life.  Having it readily available when we want it, in great diversity, and affordably, is a treasure which too many take for granted.  A Cooperative grocery could improve and localize our food supply, and for that and many other reasons,

I am a board member of the Co-op Market effort, and a willing lender, and here’s why:

An established food Cooperative, stressing local production of healthy vegetables, fruits, meats, and seafoods, is not only a huge asset, it is a wonderful insurance policy for all our friends and neighbors. We now import a vast majority of our food. This is insecure, lowers its quality, and makes us less self-sufficient. All of us would be healthier, more food-secure, and the community more resilient if we develop increased production of local foods. I have committed $5000 to a board member portion of the financial nest egg we want to use to build the Co-op.  This can and likely will be one of the most important community actions we can take for our future.

Won’t you join me in a community effort to build a food source and market we can be proud of?”

Rich Seifert

Board member and finance committee co-chair.


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Finance Committee

Our Finance Committee has a lot on its plate! We could use more help! We have a Member Loan Campaign team and we now we need a team to work on the rest of the financing we need to get the go ahead to start the Building Phase of our project.

If you would like to volunteer to work with this committee please call 457-1023.



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Member Loan Information

Are you considering providing a Member Loan? If you are a member of Co-op Market and a resident of the State of Alaska  here is some information that may be helpful in informing your decision.

Did you know that co-ops all over the country have raised start up capital with member loans? One co-op that comes to mind is Friendly City Food Co-op in West Virginia, a soon to open co-op of a similiar size to ours, achieved $600,000 in loans from 200 members.

Another food co-op that had a successful Member Loan campaign is Just Food Co-op in Northfield, Minnesota. They have been open close to 5 years and are enormously successful.

What are the risks? To find out more about the risks and benefits of this social investment email us at co-opmarketoutreach@ak.net or call 457-1023 and we will send you the full disclosure documents.

You may also find useful information from the website of CDS Consulting Co-op. Bill Gessner, Mel Braverman, and Tami Bauers have helped us enormously with their technical assistance. They have a wealth of knowledge about the development of food co-ops.

For more information about this business model go to the Weaver’s Way site. There are several sources listed at the bottom of the page.

Our Member Loan Disclosure Documents, the Business Plan and Financial Pro Forma are all available electronically by request. Hard copies are available at the office and we are happy to mail Disclosure Documents out. Email Mary at Co-opMarketOutreach@ak.net.

Call our office – 457-1023 or call 347-4463 if you have any questions or would like to meet to discuss this program.

All are welcome to drop by the Volunteer Office any week day afternoon. It is located at 540 4th Ave. in suite 102B – Under the Vet Center.

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At present we have $97,949 in membership funds (as of 9/11/2010)

Our committee has been relentlessly pursuing financial well-being for the Co-op Market. We have written lease proposals and submitted them, and contacted many sources of possible financing and loans. We are close to a lease offer, at least one we are comfortable with . We have met regularly with the Bachner group since May of this year to attempt getting a lease agreement.
We have also investigated several other financial options, including USDA loans ( REDLAG: the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program), direct loans through USDA, and a revolving loan option which Brian Newton at GVEA has promised to help with, and which could provide up to $300,000 at low interest.

We have also contacted private “angels” who want to use their money for worthy community investments, along with the Rasmuson Foundation, AIDEA, and local banks. We continue to face a major barrier in financing the Co-op Market. It is the fact that we have no collateral. And of course we have no building which could serve as collateral.
To cope with this , we have engaged legal help to allow us confidence in approaching our members for what are commonly called “member loans”. These are simply loans which our members offer us to solve our problem of collateral.

We have a major effort planned and should be able to launch it within a month which would help us greatly in getting a sound financial footing for the Co-op Market. you, our members, are being asked to help us by loaning us money to provide equity collateral so we can borrow what we will need to open, and perhaps fund fund a major portion of our co-op with these member loans.
( At this point a member asked how much we need, The answer is ~$300,000. More would of course be wonderful.)

Our loan solicitation is nearly ready for you, and we’ll give you much more information soon. Also, Board members have committed to giving member loans to the Co-op Market. I have personally committed $5000 to a board member portion of the financial nest egg we want to use to build the co-op. This can and likely will be one of the most important community actions we can take for our future. Won’t you join me in a community effort to build a food source and market we can be proud of?

submitted 9/20/2010 Rich Seifert

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Website issues

The word from our webmaster is that the website for the Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market is on a server that is undergoing attack; the site will be down until either the server can protect itself or we can find a new server. In the meantime, we will try to post the resources there to the blog, and upload a mirror site.

Addendum 11/4/09: This is our push month for raising $100,000 in membership equity, (a most awkward time to have website problems); so please bring your capital investment in to our volunteer center/office at 542 Fourth Avenue, Suite 100 B, in downtown Fairbanks. Call 457-1023 or e-mail info@fairbankscoop.org

Thank you!

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FCCM Minutes for June 4, 2009 (as approved June 11)
Present were Mary Christensen, Rob Leach, Lela Ryterski, and Ian Olson.
The minutes from the previous meeting were read and accepted.

COMMUNITY/OUTREACH: Mary reported on the June 2nd meeting. Three new members came to that meeting: Shawn Lott, Sue Sprinkle, and Jackie Sunnyboy. Also present were Tom Bradley, Lela Ryterski, Mary Christensen, and Sharon Alden.

Mary informed the group that they were responsible for the initial membership fundraising since the fact that we could raise, among ourselves, a substantial portion of funds needed to begin operations would legitimize the co-op as viable and make it easy to receive other monies from matching grants and bank loans. Mary suggested we shoot for a goal of $100,000 by November. Five hundred people investing the proposed one-time $200 membership would satisfy that goal. The next newsletter will focus on the money issue.

Mary and Sharon went to Risse’s Greenhouse on Saturday and got a few names. Tom and Lela went to Clucking Blossom and got several more names. Mary suggested that if we all got on the co-op’s Facebook and each invite 6 people to join, we could be reaching thousands of people with one notice.

Twitter is set up. Sharon did the Pay Pal and Dru is working on the website to incorporate all aspects. Partners in Business is in progress. Other member equity: turkey dinner, calendar, fancy dinner at a producer, cookbook, coupon book, buttons, t-shirts, bumper stickers, tiles honoring big donors. Sue is working up a membership poster.

Next Communications Committee meeting will be next Tuesday, June 9th, at Mary’s at 6:30 p.m. Interested persons can go to themagiccarpet@gci.net and ask for directions to Mary’s house.

LOCAL PRODUCERS: Lela is contacting potential suppliers. Ian mentioned reindeer processing from a mobile unit at the university. He’ll look into that.

STORE DESIGN: Rob is the new chair.

BUSINESS PLAN: Robert Sullivan has material and is getting geared up, reported Rob.

FINANCE: Hans is out of town. Mary contacted two insurance companies and gave Rob the findings.

PRODUCT SELECTION: Lela spoke to Shawn Lott about being on the committee.

TREASURER’S REPORT: Lela reported that Sharon put a member’s donation in the bank and paid the phone bill.

OLD BUSINESS: The Bylaws got sent to the lawyer. Lela sent Deirdre the revised copy to replace the one on the blog. Rob is sure it will need another revision.


Pot luck dinner for volunteers to inventory the Foodland building and choose which committees they would like to work with. Bring flashlight and work clothes and a digital camera. Event pushed back 3 weeks to allow enough time to get the word out.

Delta Farm Bus Tour in mid-July.

Communications Committee to advertise for other health education events in our newsletter.

Rob is scheduled to speak at the Farmers’ Market Board Meeting on June 17th at 5:30pm. Other board members are welcome to join.

COMMITTEE DESCRIPTIONS: Rob outlined how the committees work to provide input for the Business Plan: Puts all aspects together—start up costs, growth, working capital, employee training, operating funds, inventory, etc.

Product Selection: Needs to develop a statement with a clear criteria for products. Define local produce—meats, fish, Alaska, etc. List products we’re not going to carry, i.e.: tobacco. Set goals for increasing amount of local produce. Store services: coffee bar, juice bar, deli, etc. and future projections. Special events: plant starts, etc. Look at feasibility study and take recommendations.

Vendor Selection: Follows criteria for product selection.

Operations: Project how many managers we’ll need; how many people per day; rent, utilities, etc. Talk to grocery clerk union. Volunteers for community enrichment activities…

Health and Wellness Education: Speakers discussing co-ops at the Noel Wein Library or Universalist Church.

NEXT MEETING: Thursday, June 11th at 6:00p.m. At the Foodland building.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

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With a lofty goal of opening Fairbanks Community Cooperative Market (Co-op Market) by 2011 there are many tasks at hand. Committees have been formed and many need volunteers. Won’t you help it fly? You can volunteer a little of your time or a lot.

There are many small tasks to do so if you can sign up for even one small task it will be a blessing and you will enjoy the fruits of your labor as you shop our own little grocery store next summer.

To find out how you can best serve the Co-op Market e-mail info@fairbankscoop.org or call 457-1023. Or contact one of the committee chairs and let them know you want to participate in that committee.

Business Plan Committee – Board of Directors

This committee is central to the organization as it is organizing all the pieces that go into creating a good business plan. HOWEVER, the work of the other committees is absolutely necessary to putting together a good business plan. Tasks involved include:
1.    Putting together the estimates that come from the other committees into a formal business plan..
2.    Determining a final estimate of the funds necessary for the project before seeking funding

Finance Committee – Committee chair – Hans Geier  – Email: ffhtg@uaf.edu

This committee is responsible for developing sources of funding including:

  • Bank Loans
  • Grants
  • Member loan Program – The committee must research and form a legal structure for member loans.

Store Design – Committee Chair – Robert Leach – Email robertleach@alaska.net

Local Producers and Product Selection Committee – Chair –Cora Kelley – Email bearhug@gci.net

  • Identify potential vendors from the Tanana Valley and around Alaska
  • Create a member survey to be utilized in the blueprint of the Co-op Market
  • Determine criteria for product selection with a priority on local products when available

Health and Wellness Education – Chair – Sharon Alden – Email fwxsca@yahoo.com

Operations Committee – Chair –  Mary Christensen E-mail fccm2010@gmail.

The work of this committee is almost complete.

Communications/Outreach Committee – Chair – Mary Christensen Email themagiccarpet@gci.net or call 347-4463

  • Organize membership equity drive
  • Hold fundraising events
  • Advertisement and promotion
  • Communicate with membership on a regular basis
  • Website and blog updates
  • Responsible for annual meeting

The numerous activities involved with outreach require a lot of help. Many people already participate but we can always use more creative minds!

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