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Kootenay Co-op Member Loans Program a resounding success, tops $1,768,200

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
November 14th, 2013

First it was $500,000 right out of the starting gates.

Three weeks into the Member Loans campaign, the news got even better after the $1 Million mark was hit with still time remaining on the clock.

The huge thud heard outside the Kootenay Co-op building at the 200 Block of Baker Street was the board of directors collectively falling to the ground after being told the final total in the fund raising campaign topped the $1,768,200 mark.

“We are so completely delighted with the response from our member-owners,” said Board Director and Member Loans Committee Chair Susan Morrison.

“The response from day one of the program was really positive; people appreciated how the Loans program was both a local, ethical investment opportunity and a way to help the Co-op grow.”

The Kootenay Co-op launched its Member Loans Program on October 1 with a goal of raising $1.5 million to equip the new store, which they expect will open in early summer of 2015.

The Member Loans program asked the public to consider making a loan as a way of supporting the Co-op’s growth.

The Member Loans program funds is for new shelving, lights, and refrigeration units, check out tills, office computers and other fixtures —that will turn the unfinished 20,000 square foot space building into our new Co-op store.

Kootenay Co-op marketing manager Jocelyn Carver said the total is a reflection of the belief the membership has in the business.

“I think that the number one reason is the community we live in and the Co-op is completely a product of the people that live here,” Carver told The Nelson Daily.

“These are the same people who founded (the Co-op), grew it, own it and buy at the store day after day.”

Carver said the business, located at 295 Baker Street, could be a stunt double for a gold mine company, boasting just under a 10 percent growth for the past 12 years.

That growth was the key statistic for investors, both large and small.

“We saw lot people who don’t have a large investment portfolios, but really wanted to show their support by investing their money,” Carver explained.

“So it was a combination of, we are of this community, made by this community . . . we have a very strong financial record we’re a hyper-local, investment opportunity in a fairly barren landscape in that regard and this is a community that puts its money were the values are.”

“And we worked really hard to get that message out, I’d have to say,” Carver added.

The hard work, from board members, volunteer members and staff, came in the form of mailed letters, phone calls, manned booths and speeches during planned events.

The loan sizes ranged from $1000 to well over $25,000.

The success of the Member loans program gives the Co-op the opportunity to acquire patient capital at preferable rates, contributing significantly to a healthier financial start for the new store.

“This puts us way ahead in a couple of ways,” Carver said.

“Member capital is the best kind of capital because its adds a significant amount to the financial sustainability.”

“We would have gone ahead with the new store regardless, but this puts us in a better financial situation.”

As the Member Loans campaign comes to completion the Nelson Commons project is preparing to kick in to high gear. Pre-sales for the residential units will begin on (Wednesday) November 20.

Most units have been pre-selected units with the intention of purchasing. 

However, there are still units available.

The public is invited to visit the Nelson Commons Show Suite and Sales Office to view the 3D model of the proposed development and to see the suite at 621 Vernon Street Wednesday to Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

Categories: General

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