Member Loan Program

The third cooperative principle, Member Economic Participation, defines a critical part of the cooperative difference and is an important way in which we are able to create a strong organization rooted in our local economy. Purchasing a capital certificate and shopping are two key ways that member-owners participate; loaning money to the co-op to open a new store is another.

You may know that Bloomingfoods raised money from founding members to start the co-op in 1976, and raised member loans again in 1991 when we opened the East location. We most recently raised funds in 2006 to convert the Encore Café into our Near West Side store. We are pleased to announce that all the loans that have come due have been paid back, on-time and with the full interest due. It is with your support that the co-op is able to experience such success and we are reaching out to you at this time to request your participation in our opening of a neighborhood grocery at 2nd and Fess, in the Elm Heights neighborhood.

It was our goal to negotiate with our member-owners to obtain at least $800,000 in subordinated loans in order to purchase the property at 2nd and Fess and to construct a new building on that site. Subordinated loans from member-owners are an important and normal requirement of virtually all retail co-op developments, demonstrating to our professional lenders that the project enjoys the confidence of our membership. Bloomingfoods plans to add to the member loan amount $500k of its own money, and borrow additional funds from our regional bank to complete this $3 million neighborhood grocery store project.

We are excited to report that we have exceeded our initial goal of $800,000 as well as surpassed our extended goal of $1,000,0000. You can read what some of our member lenders have had to say about why they have participated in the loan drive.

With over 100 member-owners participating in the loan program, we have been able to achieve an average loan of $10,000. We consider this to be an amazing success. Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to accept any additional pledges. Thank you for your support of a project that is both exciting and of tremendous value to our members and the community. If you have made a loan, you are supporting an ethical, socially responsible business and enhancing our community’s access to the best in locally grown, organic, and nutritious food. We are working together to achieve our goal and of building a fantastic new store for all our member-owners.

2 comments on “Member Loan Program

  1. Kathryn Holden on said:

    I would consider making a member loan but would like to see financials on the project first. Do you have a construction budget available and also income statement and cash flow projections?

    • Hi Kathryn
      Thanks for your interest in our member loan program. Our disclosure statement for the loan contains some of the information you mention and we would be happy to send that to you via email – give Steve a call at (812)339-4442 x102. We also have more detailed budgets and financials available; Steve and I would be happy to schedule a time to review them with you at our office.

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