What Is a Co-op?
Wondering what a co-op is? Cooperatives, or co-ops, are businesses that buy and sell products or services similarly to commercial businesses. However, cooperatives are owned by and operated for the benefit of their members. Membership can be as simple as banking with a local credit union or shopping at a local food co-op, and as comprehensive as running a local, family business part of a larger cooperative group.
Owned by Members to Serve Members
A co-op is owned and controlled by its members, instead of investors outside of the business. Profits are reinvested in the co-op or distributed to members, instead of solely benefiting corporate entities or boards of directors. This cyclical business model is a contemporary, democratic approach to business.
Because of how they are owned, co-ops have an impact on the local economy, people and community beyond the impact of conventional corporations. Co-ops share a deep commitment to the community that impacts local people and profits through programs and activities that are supported by cooperative values and principles. Each co-op exists primarily to benefit the members that own it. So, members get the products and services they need and also have a say in the business decisions the cooperative makes.
People join and start co-ops for a variety of reasons. Find a co-op near you to learn about what they bring to your community and their membership benefits.
Leveraging the Power of Scale to Grow Local Businesses
Regardless of industry, co-ops offer solutions based on the mutual needs of its co-owners, or members. By joining together, co-op members create access to products, services or markets that may not be available to individuals otherwise. Co-ops return financial gains to members through discounts, lower costs, refunds and surplus.
Find a Co-op Near Me
Cooperatives are everywhere; they can be difficult to discover because they often look like typical commercial businesses. But, they are doing business differently – just ask their members. Find a co-op near you to learn more about the exclusive member benefits for co-op members.