ReGenerative Finance is proud to call the Renaissance Community Cooperative (RCC) our first investing project. We learned about the project through the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC), who have been working with residents of Northeast Greensboro since 2012 to create a democratically owned and controlled grocery store in the neighborhood that provides all of Greensboro with healthy foods at affordable prices, and has a commitment to locally sourced foods, community education and dignified jobs.
A little history:
In 1998, the Winn-Dixie grocery store in Northeast Greensboro closed, despite being profitable, due to company reposition. Since that time, the community has remained without a full service grocery store.Greensboro-High Point currently ranks worst in the nation for community food security. Furthermore, financial projections show that the neighborhood spends $1.34 million dollars on groceries each week, which means most of these food dollars are going to corporate grocery stores miles away, instead of back into building community wealth. In 2012, the community decided to take this issue into their own hands, and, with support from F4DC, began hosting community discussions, having exploratory meetings with city staff, and taking learning tours of other community-owned grocery stores in the area. F4DC helped the RCC Committee develop financial projections (turns out RCC will need to capture less than 5% of those $1.34 million dollars in weekly food sales to turn a profit), commission a professional marketstudy, and began base building to develop an engaged, informed membership. Since that time, they have raised gifts, grants and loans totaling over $1.4 million through grassroots work and strategic partnerships, specifically with Self-Help Ventures Fund, Uplift Solutions, and Lakeshore Food Advisors. Regenerative Finance is proud that our members have already contributed over $175,000 to this effort.
In total, the RCC needs to raise $1.8 million to open their store, which will create 32 good jobs, the vast majority of which will go to people in the neighborhood. They are in the final stretch of reaching this goal. ReGen has pledged to raise $250,000 of investment capital to help them make their dream a reality. As of March 2016, we have over $250,000 committed. But it’s not too late to make an impact – if you are interested in moving money to the RCC, please be in touch.
You can also always support this project by becoming a member of RCC – $100 will get you a lifetime membership. Learn more and sign up for your membership here.
If you are interested in staying in the loop as other pilot investment projects develop, please get in contact with us or sign up for our mailing list.
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