Chicago Market Newsletter - July 2021
Market Study Q&A
Our GM told you about our new market study recently (blog post if you missed the email) and some of you had questions we thought would be good to answer for all of you.
Q: Aren't market studies costly? Where do funds for this come from?
A: Market studies do come at a cost and we're happy to say that ours was written into the $75,000 grant funding we received this spring from the Chicago Region Food System Fund.
Q: Why do we need a new market study NOW?
A: It's important now for a few funding-related reasons:
We will be fundraising this fall and our prospectus will need up-to-date financials in it, including a recent market study...and of course having this one come in strong as it did makes our prospectus offering that much more appealing.
We need current market study results also for our bank loan and for the TIF funding we're pursuing; neither would accept our older studies. It's standard for co-ops to need more than one during development; early ones help you plan while the one close to bank closing makes the loan (and in our case also TIF) possible.
We are nearing the home stretch after years of organizing and will begin buildout once we're fully funded. As Dan notes, that's summer 2023 on the outside, but could be somewhat earlier if our community joins us in the fundraising quickly (more on that below!). Owner equity (being an Owner) is part of that funding, but we also need to raise beyond that in order for the bank to feel comfortable lending to us.
Watch for Our Two Upcoming Campaigns
If you're like us, the Uptown Farmers Market has you incredibly excited for Chicago Market to be open and fully operational soon. As a startup food cooperative, we believe in making Owners and community members economic partners in our success by engaging in capital fundraising!
The Capital Campaign
Chicago Market has already raised nearly $600,000 in Owner loans, and we are excited to be launching a campaign this fall that will get us to our goal of $2 million. We are expanding our offerings to include donations (which can be tax-exempt) and preferred shares. Be on the lookout for more information on these options in the near future! Your investments beyond your initial share furthers our financial footing in both the near and long term and is critical for getting our store up and running.
The Owner Growth Campaign
We just passed the 2000 Owner milestone (yay, celebrate with us at our Party 2000!) and we're growing toward our 3500 goal. Along with the funding from our Capital Campaign, the equity from these additional Owners makes up the full Owner contribution to the construction costs and we know we can do it! So we're going to grow fast in our early fall campaign. Stay tuned and tell your friends NOW is the time to join.
Please reach out to our Capital Campaign team at [email protected] if you would like to talk about furthering your investment or are interested in volunteering during the capital campaign.
So, You Want to Be a Board Member?
Our Annual Meeting is in September, so now's the time to think about whether you'd like to run for a Board position to help guide your Co-op. Learn more about our info session here.
- Uptown Farmers Market - 2:30 - 7:00pm, every Wednesday
- July 14 Board Meeting - 8:00-10:00pm, RSVP to receive Zoom link
- City Grange Giveback Day - 10:00am - 6:00pm, July 17
- Open House + Owner Tote Back Pick-up - 11:00-3:00pm, July 18
- Party 2000 - 6:00 - 8:00pm, July 22 at Fat Cat
- Online Co-op Café - 10:00-11:00am, July 24
- July 28 Board Meeting - 7:00-9:00pm, RSVP to receive Zoom link
- So, You Want to Be a Board Member? 10:00 - 11:30am, July 31
- Volunteer Open House - 2:00 - 5:00pm, August 1 at Chicago Market
- Uptown Art Fair - 10:00am - 4:00pm, August 8 at Chicago Market
News from Our Business Owners
New Student Introductory Offer - 1st week unlimited $25 (Outdoor, Studio, Virtual)
Mayan New Year Cacao Ceremony, July 26, 6:00 - 8:00 pm*5:30 pm Mantra practice
Yoga and Yacht on the Free Spirit, July 27, 5:00 - 7:30 pm
Back Your Co-op Now
We own this business together. We operate it. And together, we fund it, through Ownership, preferred shares, loans, and donations.