Hello Co-op Member Owners,
Let’s start this update with a BIG THANK YOU to our members who have made investments!! To date, you have invested $187,000! We are on our way!! The Cooperative Fund of New England, a primary lending institution for cooperatives, has been following our project closely and have recently shared that they're willing to increase our financing to $500,000 once we've raised a minimum of $750,000 in Member Loans and Preferred Shares to get us closer to the finish line! This is a big win and shows their confidence and interest in our project (we are excited about this! - but this doesn’t change our $1.5 Million Goal). The board team has also grown by two with new boardies Ted and Bob joining this July to help execute the Capital Campaign - we welcome them with open arms (and lots of high-fives as we go into the next few weeks fully prepared to reach our campaign goals). Look for their bio’s on Facebook and the website to learn more about them.
Since we last spoke, we have been given an extension on our timeline to raise the capital we need to open our ahh-maz-ing new store. Our new target date is September 30th - that is just 9 weeks from today! In the next 9 weeks we need to raise, at a minimum, an additional $563,000 for our project to move forward. This gets us to a total of $750,000 which would give us the funds needed to take over the lease and acquire the assets of the Harvest Market - as it is! At that point we will make changes to the inventory and layout - but we would be making NO MAJOR CHANGES to the store physically until we’re able to secure additional financing.
For every dollar we raise over the $750,000, we will be able to make improvements and changes such as expanding on the deli and seating areas, and adding Bulk Food and Health and Beauty products - and much, much more. Ideally our goal is to reach $1.5 million to have the ultimate Co-op Experience! (We can do it!!)
But what happens if we don’t reach the minimum of $750,000 by September 30th? Well, that news is not so good. Financially, we will be close to running out of cash and our agreement with Associated Grocers to take over Harvest Market will expire. As we get closer to the September 30th deadline, depending upon how much we’ve raised, we will assess our progress, but falling short of the $750,000 would most likely require us to go back to the drawing board. The timeline for opening a store would be extended out at least a few more years as we will need to rebuild funds, membership and search for a financially feasible location. Wowzers - right!!?? We can’t and we won’t let that happen!! It’s time for everyone to INVEST!
So what do we need to do to be successful in the next 9 weeks? In the spirit of cooperatives we need to pull together as a community. We need to rally together! We need to encourage new members to join and existing members to make their investments - TODAY! It means that we should all tell our friends to become members and suggest that they invest, too. Businesses are able to become members and invest as well! The investment options, while have risk associated with them, are GREAT investment opportunities!! Our consultants tell us that with our large membership of 1,400 people, we have the right number of people to meet our campaign goals (the full $1.5 Million). We’ve Got This!
Over the next 9 weeks our goal will be to raise $100,000 per week in member investments. CLICK HERE to read about the offerings available! Our group of volunteers will be calling all members whom we have not yet spoken to. The board and your GM will be taking in-person meetings to review our plans, investment options, and answer questions. We will be increasing signage in the Harvest Market, and we will be emailing members frequently until we hit this goal! Social Media will be filled with updates as well, so keep an eye out there - mostly on Facebook. As always, we need your help! Volunteers are vital during this time - especially campaign callers! If you are interested, email us at the email address mentioned below (even a few hours goes a long way).
If you have been thinking about investing - The time is NOW! You can reach us directly for investments or to volunteer at GM@manchesterfood.coop, Investments@manchesterfood.coop, or by calling 603-305-6340.
Join us tomorrow (Tuesday Evening) For a special Member Meeting to talk through all of these details and our plans for success. 6pm at the Derryfield Park Gazebo in Manchester, parking is near the playground. You can RSVP: CLICK HERE
We’re off to build OUR Co-op!
-Your Board & GM
PS: All investments are held in a secured account and are not available until such time that we’ve raised at least 80% of minimum funding requirement ($750,000 * 80% = $600,000). If we don’t reach the crucial $750,000 minimum and our project is not able to move forward, all investments will be returned.