Benefits of Cooperatives
How can cooperatives help our community?
Establish Local Control
Because they are owned by people who live here, cooperatives are a powerful way for our communities to have control over economic, social, and cultural activities that affect the lives of community members.
People who couldn’t start a business on their own may be able to build a cooperative business with others, because costs as well as the benefits are shared. Communities may also invest directly in locally-owned cooperative businesses, and support cooperatives by buying from them.
Keep Money in the Community
Local cooperatives use and create local wealth, since cooperative owners spend money in the community. Every dollar invested in a local cooperative has a significant multiplier effect for the community.
Meet Community Needs
Cooperatives can help meet needs in the community that would be difficult for people to attain on their own, by pooling purchasing power or investing as a community in cooperatives which provide needed goods and services.
Build a Stable Economy
Cooperatives tend to be loyal to their communities, because they are owned and controlled by local people. They are less vulnerable to closures, because the owners of the business live here and benefit from the cooperative. In many communities, cooperatives have stayed to serve their members, or taken the place of other businesses that left for more profitable places.
Keep Businesses Going
Cooperative businesses also have a higher survival rate than private businesses, and tend to weather economic crises better. In the first five years, cooperatives have a 64% survival rate compared to 36% for private businesses. Over ten years, the figures are 46% survival rate for cooperatives, compared to 20% for private businesses.
Help Each Other
Cooperatives tend to make donations to community causes and are committed to helping other cooperatives, so over time individual cooperative business can become a thriving cooperative economy, controlled and employing local people and meeting local needs.
Make Us Healthier
In places that have a high number of cooperatives, people trust each other more and feel they can call on more people when they are in trouble, wealth is shared more equally, and people even live longer, perhaps due to lower stress and confidence in mutual support.