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Patronage Return program back at Kootenay Co-op

Now that the new building is in the works the Kootenay Co-op Board is reinstating its Patronage Return program after a three-year hiatus said Board president Abra Brynne.

"“Given the Co-op’s strong financial position and the length of time since our member-owners had last enjoyed this benefit, the Board felt confident in recommending the reinstatement of the Patronage Return," Brynne said in a written release.

The member benefit plan was put on hold while member-owners of the Kootenay Co-op saved for the purchase of a new building — the old Extra Foods building at the north end of Baker Street.

Starting on Tuesday (October 9th)  member-owners of the Kootenay Co-op who spent more than $578 at the store between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012 are eligible to receive a patronage return.

This money represents 15% of the Co-op’s net profits from the past fiscal year.

“This redistribution of profit to our member-owners is both a real financial benefit and a symbol of the Co-operative difference,” explains General Manager Deirdrie Lang.

“Co-ops are built on the idea of collective ownership and collective gain.  The patronage return is another great example of how co-operative businesses can contribute to the local economy; by sharing the business’ profit with the people responsible for its success.”  

The Kootenay Co-op’s Board of Directors decides annually whether to recommend that the membership vote to approve a patronage return for the fiscal year, based on the Co-op’s financial status and future need.  

At the recent September 2012 AGM, the membership again voted in favour of a patronage return, this time of 10% of net profits for the current fiscal year, to be distributed in October 2013.

“A patronage return of 10%, down from 15%, is a way for us to balance the importance of the return for member-owners with fiscal responsibility as we move forward with our redevelopment project," said Lang.

The return is in the form of an in-store credit and needs to be used entirely at one time.

Members who have not met the full $50 share requirement will have their patronage return applied to their shares to reach the $50 requirement.

Patronage returns need to be used by January 31, 2013.

The Patronage Return is one of a handful of member-owner benefits that also includes member pricing on Monthly Specials, Case Lot Sales, Wellness Week, special orders and more.