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How Cooperatives Are Changing the Face of the Economy

Locally owned cooperatives in the industries of groceries, banking, and insurance are quick becoming an alternative for Americans and changing the face of the nation's local economies.

What’s the Latest Development?


Locally owned cooperatives in the industries of groceries, banking, and insurance are quick becoming a popular alternative for an increasing number of Americans and changing the face of the nation’s local economies. In St. Paul, Minnesota, for example, the 35-year-old Mississippi Market has about 12,000 member-owners, who pay $90 each, sometimes in installments, to join. “Members don’t save a bundle as they might at wholesale clubs, but they share in profits returned to them in member-only coupons good for anything in the store. They also enjoy discounts on classes such as nutrition and canning, as well as occasional opportunities to buy bonds that pay 1 to 6 percent…”

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What’s the Big Idea?

Community credit unions are providing alternatives to banking customers who feel they are less a priority to their bank than its shareholders, who tend to be more sophisticated and demanding when it comes to building a fiercely competitive company. C.E. Pugh, chief operating officer of the National Co-operative Grocers Association, which has 134 members in 36 states, said: “People are seeking out maybe a little more community, a little more in their lives of what co-ops offer. You don’t invest [in a co-op] to get rich. You invest to be part of a community, to support an enterprise…that you find value in.”

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Read it at the Christian Science Monitor


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