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Business Development

Startup food co-ops need to access substantial amounts of community capital to fund the development phase as well as capitalizing the new business. Member equity is a critical part of the process, but this workshop will explore possible roles for foundation grants, personal charitable gifts, and... Learn more
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This workshop panel will go over why market studies are important, how market studies are rapidly changing with new competitive landscape, what lenders look for in a market study when considering funding your co-op, and peer tales from the front of market study challenges and how they did or did... Learn more
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USDA has grant programs that can provide some early stage funding for start-up food co-ops. Join us as USDA staff as well as a panel of grant recipients past and present share their knowledge and expertise about these grant programs. Learn more
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Once you are in Stage 2B and 3 development things are moving fast, getting exciting, and complicated. The final design process for your store is tightening up and the roles of your architect, store planner and interior designer are more critical than ever. Nicole and Maria walk you through these... Learn more
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Planning your store is take a strong relationship between your project architect, store planner, and interior designer. These 3 roles need to work like PB&J to make sure your project runs smoothly, efficiently and within your budget. Who does which parts? When do you hire whom? Maria and Nicole... Learn more
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Financial Feasibility is just one of four areas of feasibility that are critical to your co-op’s future—but it’s central to proving that your startup co-op project is likely to succeed. It’s a key responsibility of the board of directors in serving the owners of their co-op. Don Moffitt of CDS... Learn more
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A feasible site and a lease that meets the needs of your co-op are among the most important issues that affect your co-op's financial future. In this workshop we’ll talk about important site considerations and how to approach negotiating the terms of a lease. Most of us are not experienced... Learn more
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This workshop will explain the mysteries of a formal business plan. Learn what it is, why you need it, and where to get the information you need to create it. A well-written business plan will make your planning easier and provide a clear picture of your co-op to potential supporters and lenders. Learn more
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We will review the basic accounting and tax issues that your startup co-op needs to be aware of. This includes the relationships between co-op principles, accounting software, account structure, reporting, and internal controls. We will also discuss the various kinds of taxes you may be liable for... Learn more
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