"We are excited to support the Columbus Cooperative Grocery and Market with a member loan. A food co-op has proved to promote health, well-being, and a community focus which are all great assets for Columbus!" Steve and Cindy Chapman, Co-op Member-Owners
“I loaned to the Co-op because it will benefit my family and the community by increasing the availability of healthy, locally-grown, environmentally friendly food options.” Steve, Co-op Member-Owner
"We loaned money to the Co-op because we wanted to support a centrally located community owned grocery store. We look forward to having an alternative source of locally grown and healthy food choices." Mary and Mike Johnston, Co-op Member-Owners
Invest in the Co-op
Who Can Participate?
CCGM offers all current members who reside in the state of Indiana the opportunity to participate financially in this project. Interested members should contact us to request a disclosure statement describing the program and risks in greater detail.
Member-owner contributions help the cooperative leverage financing from conventional lenders while reducing our outside debt.
How Will We Use the Funds?
Funds loaned to the co-op will be used to develop and build a downtown grocery store.
The co-op will borrow from several sources. Lenders include member-owners, Bloomingfoods, and commercial lenders.
Funds will be used for construction, equipment purchases, professional fees, staff wages and benefits as we prepare for opening day.
Loan Terms, Considerations, and Conditions
Cooperatives, because of their structure, have a unique ability to raise loan funds directly from member-owners and position the organization for success.
CCGM has a goal of raising $500,000 in funding from members. Each member will choose the specific provisions of their loan to the co-op and will be issued a promissory note with a principal amount equal to the loan.
Promissory notes will contain the following details:
- Member Loans will have a minimum amount of $1,000 with the goal of an average loan of approximately $5,000.
- Interest on the loans will be from 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4%. Lenders making loans of $10,000 or higher may choose 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 4.5% interest.
- Interest rates, once negotiated, will remain fixed for the length of the note.
- Loans will mature no sooner than four years and no later than ten years.
- Interest will be applied annually and will be paid, along with the principal, when the loans become due.
- Principal amount, interest rate, and maturity date will be negotiated and mutually agreed upon by each member and CCGM.
Each interested member-owner will choose specific terms for their loan with a designated CCGM representative.
CCGM will track financial performance carefully. Board, management, and staff will regularly review statements, track progress, and respond to trends.
Interest expressed by our membership, professionally prepared market studies, and extensive financial models all indicate that a downtown grocery store will contribute to the long term financial health of the cooperative, strengthening the organization and allowing us to better serve our membership.
Our projections show that we can generate sufficient earning to pay principal and interest on member loans. There is, however, the possibility of unforeseen complications and events that are beyond the control of management and the Board of Directors.
The loans are unsecured, which means they are not backed by any property pledged as collateral. They are subordinated loans. In the event that we experience cash flow problems, we are obligated to repay our loans to other lending institutions before repaying member loans.
The promissory notes described here are offered at face value and are not transferrable. No market for these notes exists and none will develop. Members of the cooperative who currently reside in Indiana and are at least 21 years of age are eligible.
Click here for a presentation given at the Indiana Cooperative Development Center Summit. "Doing Business as a Cooperative -A Legal Perspective".
Timeline for Opening:
STAGE 1 – Organizational Stage
April 2009 First organizational meeting
August 2010 Board of Directors, Public Meeting, Initial Survey
September 2010 Incorporate, Launch membership campaign
Jan 2011 Committees formed
April 2011 Membership threshold of 300 members reached
STAGE 2 – Feasibility & Planning
April 2011 Initial market feasibility complete
May 2011 First draft of financial pro-forma complete
August 2011 LOI sent for 6th Street site
October 2011 Membership threshold of 500 owners reached
November 2011 Initial Member Loan Campaign
May 2012 Negotiations end for 6th St due to parking, lease security
June 2012 Begin site search for downtown location
December 2012 Send 1st LOI for downtown site
February 2013 Send second LOI for downtown site
April 2013 Updated market feasibility study / pro-forma
May 2013 Send proposals for two downtown sites
STAGE 3 – Implementation
STAGE 3a – Preconstruction
Site is secured with contingencies
Owner loan campaign is launched
All loans collected
Membership threshold of 1050 owners reached
General Manager hired
STAGE 3b – Construction/Renovations
Any additional financing secured
Membership threshold of 1500 owners reached
STAGE 3c – Completion