April Update from the GM

- Gary Taylor

Hello Cooperators!


I am very happy to make this pre-Financial Meeting of Owners announcement in our newsletter! If you want to hear more, please come to the FinMoo on April 14th!


During the February Board meeting, our Board voted unanimously to approve the pay-off of the remainder of our 2012 owner loans. This is cause for celebration!


1. The loans will be paid off by the end of the original schedule! We're not sure if all of you are aware, but in 2017 our primary lender for the expansion loan required that we postpone all owner loan payments by a minimum of 1 year. For the past 4 years we had been paying these loans off one year behind the original schedule.


Due to all of our staff's hard work at making our business run responsibly, and our owners full support, we are now able to pay off our owner loans - in full, and finish by the original pay-off date. Once they are paid off, the Co-op will be debt free for the first time since moving to Lincoln Square! If for some reason we have not contacted you about your individual loan, please email us at gm@commonground.coop to let us know how to best contact you.


2. This means, in the last 4.5 years, our store went from operating in the red to:

  • Paying off over $1.5 MILLION in debt, including our primary bank loan for the 2008 move to Lincoln Square, as well as our primary bank loan and all owner loans for the 2012 expansion!
  • Doubling our days of cash-on-hand (a metric of health for a business)
  • Being able to raise all of our staff's pay by $2.50/hour while improving PTO benefits for all, including offering it to our Part Time staff!

3. We can now begin to plan for the future of the Co-op for years to come. We can continue our work improving our benefits for employees, and start making much needed upgrades throughout the store. We want this to be the greatest place to work and gather, and now we will soon have more opportunities to make that happen!


WE COULD NOT HAVE ACHIEVED THIS WITHOUT EVERYONE'S SUPPORT, PAST AND CURRENT COOPERATORS ALIKE. It has been incredible watching CGFC move from a store that National Cooperative Grocers (NCG) was worried about staying open, to a store that is now healthy and will be here for the future of our community and farmers alike.


YOU ALL helped accomplish this! Thank you all so much!


In cooperation,