As the number of member owners approaches 1,000, the Oshkosh Food Co-Op is now very close to selecting a site for the store. After securing that site, the next step will be to raise necessary start-up funds to build and operate our store. Those funds will come from memberships, member loans, outside loans, grants, and donations.
- Member loan programs
These are the key to helping co-ops raise capital and also ensure community support for co-op stores. They demonstrate strong and loyal customer support, and also reduce debt service, making the co-ops stronger.
- Commercial loans
These involve higher interest rates than member loans, and require payback to begin immediately. Beginning to repay loans in the critical first few years puts a strain on the financials. That’s why our member loans will be the key to Co-op success.
- Grants and Contributions
The Oshkosh Food Co-op plans a vigorous donor campaign as another part of our campaign strategy. Since the co-op provides great community benefit, it can accept donor funds to assist with many start-up costs. The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation will serve as our fiscal agent.
The Co-op is also eligible for local, state and federal grants because of its commitment to sustainable local and regional agriculture.
We’ve done our homework to help create a successful campaign. One of the most valuable sources of information has come from existing co-ops. Some we’ve talked to include Fredericksburg Food Co-op (Fredericksburg, VA,) Menomonie Market (Menomonie, WI,) Wild Root - (Racine, WI) and Prairie Root - (Fargo, ND).
Co-ops like these, and others nationwide, have had numerous funding sources, and especially very successful member loan programs. It is fantastic to see how community members can invest together to create such a vital community-owned asset. The money comes from the community... and stays in the community.
As the pieces fall into place, watch for frequent updates about the Oshkosh Food Co-op. Member-owners will be first to get information about the specifics of the Campaign and the store location.
Join the Oshkosh Food Co-op NOW. Help get to ground-breaking, and stay updated on YOUR new grocery store.
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