We haven’t reached our quorum for the amendment votes. If you haven’t voted, PLEASE take a moment and open the co-op email you recently received from firstname.lastname@example.org, follow the link and vote!
If you have any questions, you can email me directly at email@example.com)
Here is some helpful info outlining the finer points of the amendments:
RE: Amendment #1. Some members were concerned that authorizing our co-op to sell a million shares would cause over-crowding at our current location.
Increasing the number of shares we can offer doesn’t mean we’ll have a million members—or anywhere close.
It simply means we can sign up new members for many more years. These are a million shares, not members. Each member has multiple shares. And every year members withdraw, so there is an ebb and flow.
We’ve been in business over 38 years, and it’s our goal to stay in business at least that many more. We decided on 1,000,000 simply so we didn’t have to address this issue again for a long time.
Back in 1994 we had to increase the amount as well (from the original 1976 amount).
This just gives us a lot of time before we have to revisit this issue again. But, even now, we absolutely need to raise the amount of shares we can sell—since we’re coming up on the current 100,000 limit. And, to ensure our future, we need the ability to sell new memberships. We have several hundred people withdraw their membership every year.
And I understand some of your concerns about parking and how busy the store is. Please know that we are doing all we can with our situation. We had to sign a new lease in our current location after we searched several years (with no luck) for a larger location.
Authorizing the million shares should have little affect on our current customer count or growth.
All of the amendment changes are designed to better position ourselves for growth.
We are looking at all feasible avenues of growth, while focusing on maintaining our difference in whatever form the growth takes.
This amendment won’t drastically affect the current pattern of customer count or new members in our current store.
RE: Amendment #2. We need to position ourselves for growth and opportunities. This allows us to sell preferred shares (non-voting stock) during a capital fund drive. Many co-ops nationally use preferred shares to raise capital for expansions.
RE: Amendment #3. This is simply another way to enable our co-op to financially prepare itself for further growth. The majority of California co-ops all use the $300 level for full membership.
If we came upon an opportunity that would benefit our co-op (offsite kitchen, second store, larger store, more parking, etc.), we would use these avenues to help raise additional capital. Since we’re only one store, and don’t have a corporate headquarters to funnel money into a project, we need to rely on financing (bank loans), member loans, preferred shares and regular membership shares to raise funds.
Thank you for your support!