To all the supporters of Book Culture,
Thanks so much to all of you who have contributed supportive words and written letters to us and our local representatives. It is enormously helpful and clarifies the stakes and the human impact of what we are fighting for.
Our goal remains the same, to gain access to loans or a line of credit totaling $750,000 which we will repay.
It is important to restate that our financial forecasts indicate that
we will be profitable in 2020
with access to the credit we need.
Book Culture is not on a path to failure no matter what.
With access to proper financing, we will be profitable again.
Two major stakeholders in our city
have already made significant contributions
. Our landlord for our two oldest stores has offered us new lease terms at much more affordable rents. Second, our landlord in Queens, also a local family owned company, has made a significant investment in Book Culture by building our beautiful new store in LIC.
Each year at this time, like many retailers, Book Culture borrows to carry us through the slow summer months, so this is not unusual. Because of our challenging financial statements, we have lost our ability to borrow and are seeking help for that reason.
With your help we can achieve our financing goals.
I have been invited to meet with City Council members and staff on Thursday of this week, and I have also been invited to meet with Danny O’Donnell, our State Assembly representative.
Because the wheels of our local government turn slowly, and our needs are urgent, we are now inviting you to become community lenders
. Please share this opportunity broadly to invest in our city and our future. The model of community members providing financial support and investment in a local business is a proven way of winning for the good of all. Too often the tools of government and the access to capital are unavailable to community centered business.
This is a Big Apple barn raising and we can use all the help and support we can muster.
Whether you know our company from visiting our stores or simply understand the need to stand up and draw a line in the sand against the consolidation of wealth and the degradation of our communities,
please help Book Culture find lenders or become one.
Community Lenders Program
We have decided to implement a Community Lenders program, because the sum we need is large enough that it may need to come from several sources, and because so many of you have offered financial help.
The program is simple.
Community members with the financial capability lend directly and individually to Book Culture.
This is an alternative to crowdfunding. It allows Book Culture to borrow and repay and to contract directly with you. It allows you an opportunity to invest in the community. There are no fees, so all the funds can be repaid and are used directly for the stated purpose of working capital for Book Culture.
We ask for a minimum loan amount of $5000. Book Culture will repay the loan over time with 4% interest.
There will be a simple signed Loan Agreement between the lender and Book Culture.
Every lender will enjoy “Sustaining Member” privileges and discounts (10% off all purchases, free shipping, and select free merchandise).
For those that would like to support Book Culture financially and be part of our success story without the extraordinary means to lend at the proposed level, please go to our website and purchase a gift card. If you use it immediately or hold onto it until after we are out of the woods it will be a great support to us.
. Gift certificates can be purchased in any amount, online or in stores.
We hope to raise a significant part of our total need in this way and it will contribute directly by indicating the support our communities have for us, strengthening our appeal in City Hall and elsewhere.
A loan made to Book Culture in this way is an investment in your community, in our city and in our future.
Thank you all again for giving us hope that we can find a way forward. We will send out another update soon.
We believe in a business culture dedicated to the public good.