Invest. Here. Now.

General Western MA Investing

  • 01 May 2013 2:41 PM
    Message # 1283115
    Use this topic to post information or questions about Western Mass investments you have made or are considering.
    Last modified: 10 Jul 2013 12:30 PM | Scott Reed
  • 10 Jul 2013 11:53 AM
    Reply # 1337432 on 1283115
    Information I got in email from a new co-op being started,  All Things Local Cooperative Store in downtown Amherst, MA -- this is the copy without the design.

    "This email was sent to "friends of local food and farming" in the region.  We also apologize if you have already joined!

    Easy for buyers to buy:

    Convenient location and hours
    Year-round and indoors
    Ability to pick-and-choose among many local producers
    Single checkout, with all the usual payment options
    Easy for producers to sell:

    Producers set their own price
    Most of the selling price goes back to the producer where it belongs (no brokers or middle-men)
    Fast drop off
    Don’t have to be onsite (lower staffing costs)
    Online pre-sale bulk orders
    Like a year-round indoor farmers’ market
    items sold by producer, in an information-rich setting
    prices set by the producers themselves
    75%-85% of sales price is paid back to the producers
    A community owned cooperative
    joint governance by producer and consumer members
    low sales commission covers overhead & staffing
    volunteerism keeps prices down, and builds connections

    Thanks to the more than 150 new members who have already joined!

    Please join us to make this exciting new venture happen!

    As you know we are working to secure a site in downtown Amherst to open our new producer-consumer cooperative store, All Things Local, by October 1, 2013 but we need your help now!  

    Here are some ways you can help:

    1.   If you have not done so yet, please join our mailing
          list to stay connected. Go to our web page and sign up!  
    2.  Become a Founding Member or encourage others to
         join!  We have three membership categories.  They are:

    One Year Membership - Consumer ($50/year)
    Entitles you to the right to vote – the power to elect the Board
    Co-ownership of the cooperative, for both consumers and producers
    As the coop grows, our hope is for members to receive an annual patronage bonus (according to how much they buy, sell and/or volunteer)
    Access to the bulk-buying system and special opportunities (for example if a farmer has a lot of extra tomatoes to sell, or strawberries that need to be picked, members can sign up to be notified)
    Invitations to special events, reserve tickets, special discount (when offered by producers), and notification of interesting and useful news
    Join as a Consumer Member now!

    One Year Membership - Producer ($50/year)
    All of the membership benefits for Consumer Members, as well as the opportunity to offer products for sale (subject to Producer Guidelines and space availability).  Producer Guidelines are under development).
    If you have already joined as a Consumer Member and would like to switch to a Producer Member, simply contact us
    We will contact new Producer Members soon regarding your intended products for sale.
    Join as a Producer Member now!
    Lifetime Membership ($1,000)
    All the benefits of membership without the annual renewal
    Special appreciation for making a long-term commitment to our shared vision by contributing when it's need most!
    May be changed to an annual membership within the first year, with reimbursement (minus the $50 annual membership fee)
    Join as a Lifetime Member now!

    3.  Locavest - make an investment in your local community!
    We need $300,000  to purchase the equipment, remodel the store, and get up and running
    We have a July 31 deadline to secure the downtown location
    Seeking loans payable over 5 years at 3% (or less if you are willing)
    Keeping it local: the coop would prefer to pay interest directly to members rather than a financial institution
    From the Slow Money movement:
    "Investing as if food, farming and fertility mattered."
    "If you eat, you're an investor."
    Invest in All Things Local, invest in our community!
    Contact Bernard Brennan for more information on this option
    4.   Host a house party and invite your friends to learn more
          about this community project.  Contact Tina Clarke if you are
           willing to help.

    5.  Finally TELL YOUR FRIENDS!  Forward our web  page to
          your friends and neighbors or post it to your own Facebook
          page with a note saying why you support All Things Local.

    Once we are open, we will needs LOTS of volunteers who are willing to help.  In this way we can keep the cost of managing the store down and maximize return to the producers.  Make sure you are on the mailing list if you want to help.
    Financial Projections
    Our plan is to create a diversified, resilient, local owned community market, by employing a cooperative model withlower costs and shared-risk.

    Our business plan calls for us to raise up to $300,000 in investment capital through unsecured private loans and low interest bank loans.  This will allow us to purchase the necessary equipment to manage the store and cafe as well as hire staff to manage the store immediately.

    Next, we have set a goal of 300 memberships (we have 150 already).  Membership fees will pay for rental of the downtown space.

    Our most conservative financial projections suggest that the store can pay back the debt within 5 years.

    Thanks to everyone for your interest and support of the All Things Local Cooperative Store!
    Copyright © 2013 All things Local Store, All rights reserved.

    Our mailing address is:
            89 North East St.
            Amherst, MA 01002

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