Member-owners of the Kootenay Co-op who spent more than $578 at the store between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012 are eligible to receive a patronage return.
This marks the reinstatement of this member benefit, which was on a three-year hiatus as the store saved for the purchase of a new building.
“Given the Co-op’s strong financial position and the length of time since our member-owners had last enjoyed this benefit, the board felt confident in recommending the reinstatement of the patronage return”, said Abra Brynne, board president.
This money represents 15 per cent of the Co-op’s net profits from the past fiscal year.
“This redistribution of profit to our member-owners is both a real financial benefit and a symbol of the co-operative difference” said general manager Deirdrie Lang.
“Co-ops are built on the idea of collective ownership and collective gain. The patronage return is another great example of how co-operative businesses can contribute to the local economy; by sharing the business’ profit with the people responsible for its success.”
The Kootenay Co-op’s board of directors decides annually whether to recommend that the membership vote to approve a patronage return for the fiscal year, based on the Co-op’s financial status and future need.
At the recent September 2012 annual general meeting, the membership again voted in favour of a patronage return, this time of 10 per cent of net profits for the current fiscal year, to be distributed in October 2013.
“A patronage return of 10 per cent, down from 15 per cent, is a way for us to balance the importance of the return for member-owners with fiscal responsibility as we move forward with our redevelopment project,” said Lang.
The return is in the form of an in-store credit and needs to be used entirely at one time. Members who have not met the full $50 share requirement will have their patronage return applied to their shares to reach the $50 requirement. Patronage returns need to be used by January 31, 2013.
The patronage return is one of a handful of member-owner benefits that also includes member pricing on monthly specials, case lot sales, Wellness Week, special orders and more.