Chamber of Commerce Luncheon discusses future co-op
Lindsay Goss photo
Shane Stewart, guest speaker at the Chamber luncheon, discusses the merits of Co-Operative Investment.
Pass Herald Reporter
Shane Stewart, Chair of Board of the Directors at Community Futures came to speak at the Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon at Ben Wong on Wednesday, January 8th to discuss a new co-op structure in the Crowsnest Pass, with first memberships and investment shares to be sold starting in February.
Stewart explained that the government forms co-op groups to help keep the community’s money within the community. A co-op group would be beneficial to the Crowsnest Pass because it will give residents an opportunity to invest locally. After applying to be a part of a the co-op group, an initial fund of $50,000 from the government will be delivered to investors, which $10,000 must be matched by the board of the co-op. When the board, called Crowsnest Opportunity Development Board, comes up with an achievable idea, investors can invest in the idea. The more people who invest, the more a rate of return will be received.
The co-op group is set be located in the old Work n Play building on 20th Avenue in Blairmore.
“We must invest in ourselves for economic growth,” Stewart said.
“We must keep the money local. The government will not be able to save our community, we must save our community.”
The Co-op will be anticipating about 15 investors.
Stewart explains that he welcomes as many people on board as possible but cautions that it is not without risk.
“There is risk, but the risk is no different than the risks you are going to be subjected to when you buy into any company. With this co-op we will at least be keeping the money local.”
Stewart explained that there is only a bit of documentation and legalities and then the investments will be ready to be sold in February. An open house will be held later in the year.
“Overall, when it comes to what we can do with this structure, the sky is the limit,” Stewart said.
The co-op will be based on a “one member, one vote” system, which means the investment shares will be relatively small and will be anywhere from $10,000-$20,000.