Prairie Food Co-op Community Grocery

It’s Almost Time! Let’s Fund Our Co-op!

PFC is just about ready to FUND the first and only co-op in DuPage County by raising capital, mostly from Owners like you! The more our community invests, the less we need in costly bank loans, and the better our financial outlook. It’s a win-win investment!

The Goal

Our goal is to raise $4M, or about an average of $4k per Owner. We’re asking for 100% Owner participation, financially or otherwise. Yes, this sounds challenging, but co-ops have successfully done this for decades! We know we can, too.

So, what are your options for contributing and getting PFC’s doors open? Like most food co-ops, our Community Investment Program (CIP) funding options fall into five core categories:

  • Preferred Shares
  • Owner Loans
  • Grants & Donations
  • Traditional bank financing
  • Ownership Shares

 

Here’s how you can financially help the co-op open...

Your Funding Options

 
What is it?
How much is it?
Why choose it?
Preferred Shares
Stock that could yield annual dividends. They are a long-term investment (10+ years) Any Illinois resident can participate and buy up to 10 total PFC shares at $1,000 per share.

Preferred Shares are the most co-op friendly way to invest in PFC. They can yield annual dividends but like most stock, no promises.

 

Owner Loans

A loan to Prairie Food Co-op is a legal agreement on interest rates and pay-off schedules. This is a mid-term investment of 5-10 years.

 

PFC Owners residing in Illinois are eligible to contribute via loans greater than $8,000.

Money is eventually paid back and you earn interest on your loan. But like most loans, there are risks.

Grants & Donations

We will work with institutional funders, local foundations, community programs, philanthropists, and individuals like yourself to fund as much of the project as possible.

 

Anyone anywhere can donate any amount. For many folks, and all those outside Illinois, a tax-deductible donation with no minimums or maximums is the easiest way to contribute.

 

Our CIP offers Owners like you a way to invest in PFC, just as you would in any other start-up business. It’s a win-win investment: PFC gains capital for construction and start-up costs; you have the opportunity to earn a return while improving our community in a way that aligns with your values, and most importantly, opens our store!

 

You Likely Have More Questions. Or Maybe You’re Ready to Invest. The Community Investment Program will begin quietly this fall, and roll out in earnest in early 2020, shortly after construction begins at 109 South Main.

 

If you have any questions or already know you would like to contribute, reach out to us at invest@prairiefood.coop. We will put you at the top of our contact list once our legal paperwork is finalized and full program details are approved by our board.

 

Thanks for your continued support. More to come!

 

FAQs

Why ask our Community to Invest?

It’s how Co-ops build the capital they need to be successful. Community investment demonstrates the existence of a loyal customer base, which:

  • makes us feel awesome!
  • increases our chances for success
  • generates funding that is less costly and more flexible than banks can offer
  • gives commercial lenders confidence that Prairie Food Co-op is viable and desirable so they can offer PFC additional financing if needed

 

What’s in it for investors like me?

You have the opportunity to earn a respectable return and gain the satisfaction of knowing your money will:

  • be invested locally
  • increase the quality of life for our entire community
  • support a venture that aligns with your values
  • be THE KEY to our store opening its doors!

Our Community Investment Program offers a unique opportunity that is not tied to the volatility of the overall stock market. It very literally moves money from Wall Street to Main Street, where it can make tangible things happen within our community. This is an opportunity to invest in an organization whose values you fully understand and actually have a say in.

Can I help in ways that aren’t financial?

Of course! There are many non-financial ways to participate and get us closer to store open! Starting now, you could...

  • Ask 15 friends to join you in ownership = a $3k value
  • Share your time & expertise = priceless. We are looking for the following skills:
    • Marketing / Graphic Design
    • Sales / Connectors / Callers
    • Financial / Legal Paperwork / Closers
    • Administrative
    • Master of gratitude and celebrations
    • Grant writers

Is PFC Seeking Traditional Bank Financing?

While we are looking into traditional bank loans, for the benefit of the co-op and its members, we hope to keep bank financing to a minimum.

What about my Ownership Shares?

As a PFC owner, you bought two Ownership Shares for $200 total. These shares are tied to voting rights within our democratic organization, One Owner = One Vote. Ownership shares funded our outreach and start-up efforts but represent a small fraction of the capital needed.

What if the Co-Op doesn’t open? Will I get my money back?

Prairie Food Co-op will hold all funds raised in escrow until we have raised $1.5 million or more. At that time, the board will re-assess feasibility, as we have done at every major step of our development process. If the board determines that the project is no longer feasible and will not proceed, contributions will be returned. Once escrow is broken, if the co-op does not open or closes after opening, contributions are unlikely to be returned and subject to legal requirements with all contributors.

What are Preferred Shares?

Preferred Shares are stock that could yield annual dividends. Any Illinois resident can participate and buy up to 10 total PFC shares at $1,000 per share. Outside of donations, Preferred Shares are the most co-op friendly way to invest in PFC and should be considered a long-term investment (10+ years). They can yield annual dividends but like most stock, no promises.

What are Owner Loans?

Only Illinois PFC Owners are eligible to make a loan to Prairie Food Co-op with a legal agreement on interest rates and pay-off schedules. This is a mid-term investment of 5-10 years for investments greater than $8,000. Money is eventually paid back and you earn interest on your loan. But like most loans, there are risks.

How do Grants & Donations factor in?

We will work with institutional funders, local foundations, community programs, philanthropists, and individuals like yourself to fund as much of the project as possible. For some folks and all those outside Illinois, a tax-deductible donation with no minimums or maximums is the most win-win way to contribute.

When can I invest in PFC?

Look for the Community Investment Program to begin quietly this fall, and to roll out in earnest in early 2020, shortly after development begins at 109 South Main.

If you already know you would like to contribute, reach out to us at invest@prairiefood.coop and we will put you at the top of our contact list once our legal paperwork is finalized and full program details are approved by our board.

 

More questions? Please contact us at invest@prairiefood.coop.

 

We are not soliciting Owner capital in any form at this time. Owner loans will be available only to Illinois Owners, Preferred Shares will only be available to Illinois residents, and only pursuant to complete offering documents when and if a capital campaign is approved by the board.

Invest in a place to shop that you can call your own.
Together we really can do this.

BECOME AN OWNER