Chicago Market Newsletter - May 2019
Why Your Co-op's Owner Loan Campaign Matters!
Have you noticed something special is happening with Chicago Market? Perhaps you got a letter, or read an email or you’ve seen postings on social media about our Owner Loan Campaign? It would be perfectly reasonable for you to be aware of our capital campaign and still wonder what it is and why bother doing it?
Co-ops all over the US do owner capital campaigns as part of their financing for projects. Established co-ops do campaigns to finance new stores, expansions, relocations and renovations and all co-op startups use owner loan campaigns as an essential part of their funding plan. But why go to so much trouble to raise money this way?
One simple reason is – we have to. Grocery stores are expensive and complex businesses. Refrigeration equipment is custom made for the application – dairy, meat, cheese, frozen foods etc. Point of sales systems, computer networks, heating and cooling systems designed to keep the shopper comfortable while also protecting the food are all expensive and essential. And we want to offer fair wages to our employees. In the competitive world of grocery retail, we need our stores to look good, work well, and be efficient and reliable and we can’t achieve all that without spending a lot of money. And banks or credit unions won’t loan us all we need, nor can we afford to pay the interest rates we’d be charged.
But another reason for using owner capital is – we want to. If it’s going to take a lot of money to start our Co-op, and we’re going to be paying interest on that money no matter where we get it, why not keep the money in our community and give our Co-op Owners the chance to earn a fair rate of return, while also investing their money in something they own, use and enjoy – their local grocery store!
And it works. Co-ops have raised millions of dollars, all over the country, including co-ops in small towns, rural areas and big urban centers. This money goes to strengthen and enlarge the cooperative economy, which operates on principles of justice, equity and fairness rather than exploitation and extraction. Our co-ops, and the money invested in them, help improve our communities, country and world in a way that very few investments do. So why not take part yourself? To find out more or make your loan, contact our Campaign Coordinator NOW. If you've already made your loan, thank you so much!
Jessica, Campaign Coordinator
NEWSFLASH! We've raised over $400,000 toward our $1.8 million goal. The push is on to more than double recent progress. By next Monday, May 20, we want to pass the $500,000 mark in loans. We need YOU to make that happen.
the world is run by
those who show up
As community members, we are shepherds of this vision. The model is simple -- if we want it, we have to build it. We already have the ambition and the plan, now we just need the rally of our Owners to make it possible! I am proud to give my Owner loan to Chicago Market, an organization so important to me,
and I hope more Owners will join in!
Jen Vest, lender, Owner #532, former Board member
In the News
- Co-Op Grocery Store Chicago Market Opening In 2020, Forbes
Grant and Sofia on The Mike Nowak Show (at 1:11 mark)
On the blog:
- What the Owner Loan Campaign is Teaching Me About Chicago Market Owners
- Two More Owners Make Loans!
- Why Make An Owner Loan?
Come on out for one of our fun Owner Loan events this week and watch the website for more next week too. We'll pick up the snacks. Learn all about how YOU can invest in your Co-op.
Owner Loan Happy Hour - May 15, 6-7:30pm at My Buddy's (details and RSVP here)
Owner Loan Meetup - May 18, 1-2:30pm at Longacre (with optional post-event tour of our future home!) (details and RSVP here)
Accountant - we're looking for a CPA/accountant volunteer who can help us with bookkeeping. If that's you, email our volunteer coordinator.
Government grant writer - we're looking for a grant writer with experience doing government grants to help us with the USDA LFPP (Local Food Promotion grant). Tight deadline. If you can help, email us quickly.
- Board member - one of your Owner benefits is the opportunity to serve on the Board. Elections are tied to our Annual Meeting late summer and now is a great time to be thinking about running for the Board. We encourage anyone interested to attend Board meetings (listed on the Events tab of our website) and we have a current Board member ready to meet with you to talk about the expectations of being a Board member. Email us if you're interested.
- We have a SPECIAL OFFER FROM ONE OF OUR OWNERS, Tim Magner, who runs Nature's Farm Camp:
Think kids ought to be immersed in great food and outdoor adventure? If the idea of your kids helping to run a farm for a week appeals to you, Nature’s Farm Camp at Angelic Organics Learning Center is for you. Sign up by May 22 and Owners of Chicago Market receive $100 off. Use the code CHICAGOMARKET at checkout. Register here. #organic, #90 miles from Chicago