One of the coolest things about co-ops is that they communicate regularly with each other and share information. It's Cooperative Principle #6 and a great example that we've benefitted from is this:
SunCoast Market Co-op, a startup like us in Imperial Beach, CA presented to a group of co-op leaders recently and we learned about their pursuit of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding. The federal government has made a lot of funds available to municipalities across the country and SunCoast was successful in persuading their city to support them with $500,000 in funding.
We were pretty inspired by this and the Board went to work immediately meeting with our local city, state, and county officials in an effort to learn what funding we might be eligible for. ARPA funds are very discretionary for each municipality, so first we have to find them, then we need to determine how we can make the case that our Co-op fits the goals of the government agency making the decisions.
This research led us to news of Chicago's recently announced Chicago Recovery Plan Development Grant program. There are funds up to $5 million available per grantee, and we feel confident we can make a strong case that Chicago Market is an economic and social change engine in Uptown that is worth supporting through this grant funding.
Our Board member James Gignac is partnered with long-time Funding team volunteer Joe Fedorko to draft the convincing narrative portions of the application.
|James Gignac||Joe Fedorko|
Our GM is working closely with our store designers to get the final drawings as well as equipment and construction estimates together to submit.
And of course we've got all the steps plotted out on the Project Plan our volunteer Karen has built. It's all hands on deck to get all the pieces pulled together in time to submit by March 10.
No grant opportunity is a sure thing, so we're still hard at work on other funding sources (more on that in an Update soon), but we do feel this is a great fit for Chicago Market.
Thanks, SunCoast — the cooperative advantage will get us there!