Interested in learning more about our co-op pledge drive? Head over to Seven Days to read a great article by Kevin Kelley where he explains what we’re up to with the help of Alan Matson and Don Schramm.
“Capitalists should love co-ops, even though they generally don’t,” Schramm says. Customer loyalty is highly prized by any enterprise, and “no one is more loyal than a member of a co-op.”
A former board president of City Market, Schramm points to the 40-year-old enterprise, also known as the Onion River Co-op, as a prime example of how a member-owned business can succeed. City Market racked up a profit of about $1.75 million last year. Part of that sum was distributed as a “patronage dividend” to the co-op’s 8700 active members based on how much they spent at the store. Last year’s average refund check came to $84. It costs $15 a year to be a member of City Market.
Schramm says investors in Green Mountain Broadband Fiber could expect a bigger payback, noting that the telecom co-op would be incorporated as a for-profit entity.