Weaver Street to Round Up for Kid’s Backpack Program

Weaver Street Market in Orange County kicked off its Summer Round Up program this week to benefit the kid’s backpack program of TABLE, Inc. WSM shoppers will have the option of rounding up to the next dollar on their total purchases, with the combined funds raised benefiting the TABLE program.

A similar campaign over the 2016 holiday season raised more than $43,000 as WSM shoppers rounded up 82,500 times. You can read all about it in a blog post on the WSM web site.

Co-ops Eyed As Solution to “Silver Tsunami” in Western NC

A recent study released by Project Equity shows that nearly half of all small businesses in Western North Carolina are owned by people age 55 and older. These businesses employ more than 130,000 people whose combined wages exceed $4 billion each year, and  account for more than $26-billion in annual sales.

With their retirement years approaching in the years ahead, more than 85% of these business owners do not have a viable succession plan for the future. This lack of succession planning ahead of retirement, which some call a “silver tsunami”, represents a threat to the livelihoods of employees as well as the WNC economy.

Enter The Industrial Commons, Project Equity’s regional partner. The Industrial Commons was formed in 2015 in response to a need in WNC for an industry focused organization that provides resources and support to firms and networks in a way that improves livelihoods and roots wealth in communities.  Continue reading

Latino Community Credit Union Notes 2016 Milestones in Video

Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU), a full-service financial cooperative serving immigrant and underserved communities in North Carolina, celebrated its 2016 accomplishments in a short annual video this week.  LCCU serves 67,000 members from 122 countries across the world at 11 branches located throughout the state.

“LCCU works to empower its members, not profit from them,” President/CEO Luis Pastor shared in an letter emailed to the membership along with the video. “Our mission is to provide ethical financial products and education to immigrants and other underserved communities, and each day we see the results: our members, 65% of which were previously unbanked, are developing their financial literacy, accessing ethical financial products, establishing credit, taking control of their financial lives, and building wealth for themselves and their families.”   Continue reading

Weaver Street Market Co-op Fair Celebrates Local Connections

WSM-Sushi

Co-op Fair visitors watch sushi being made at the Weaver Street Market Co-op Fair April 30. 

On Sunday, April 30, Weaver Street Market (WSM) hosted its first of two Co-op Fair events for 2017. The event took place at WSMs Food House facility in Hillsborough. Local cooperatives plus food and wine producers met with and shared delicious samples with WSM members.

WSM employees also shared food samples & demonstrations from its Food House, which prepares and provides freshly-made products to the co-op’s three retail locations. Co-op employees also provided information on how the Food House operates, and shared updates on WSM’s ongoing community initiatives, including its Community Food Partnerships.   Continue reading

North Columbia Looks to Cooperation to Solve Food Desert Issue

A familiar story unfolded last year in the northern part of Columbia. The Piggly Wiggly grocery chain vacated its West Beltline Boulevard location, leaving the community in a food desert. A collection of convenience and dollar stores selling unhealthy food choices to residents is all that remains.

For those with vehicles, losing a neighborhood grocery is a nuisance. But toss in a lack of access to transportation, and the loss of a grocery store can be damaging to to health and well being of families and communities.

This same story is playing out throughout the US, as for-profit grocers concentrate their stores in areas that are most profitable, leaving many without a neighborhood source of healthy food. Community leaders in Columbia are now beginning to work to re-write the story using the cooperative model.   Continue reading

Calling All Campers: Co-op Leadership Camp June 19-23

CLC Group 2016

“It was super fun and awesome, and I loved it! The new people I met especially impacted me,” a 2016 Co-op Leadership Camp participant shared. 

The Cooperative Council of North Carolina is now accepting applications for its annual Co-op Leadership Camp, which takes place June 19-23 in White Lake. Open to rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, the camp combines an interactive educational experience with outdoor fun in order to provide a memorable primer on how cooperatives operate.

Continue reading