An update on co-op activity in the Pacific Northwest !
Co-op Developments
A short monthly update about co-op development in the Pacific Northwest provided to you on or about the 20th of each month. Please share with your network!
Co-ops and the Future of Work
What does the workforce of the future look like? Washington's Future of Work Task Force stopped into NWCDC's offices to learn about how co-ops might play a role in a rapidly changing workplace. The workplace, as we know it, has been undergoing significant changes due to technological advances, an aging workforce, and an aging cohort of small business owners. The "gig" economy ushers in new opportunities for people, but without a safety net. We talked about the role of worker co-ops in protecting legacy businesses in Washington (especially in rural communities), the role of the State in supporting the Main Street Employee Ownership Act, and the plans for a WA Employee Ownership Center.
Home Care Information Session On-line
Deborah Craig hosted an information session about home care co-ops in Washington this month in Twisp, Washington. The event was recorded for Voices of the Methow which runs on YouTube. Tune in to listen to Deborah's great presentation (divided into two episodes of about 28 minutes each).

Episode 1:
Episode 2:
WA Food Co-ops on the Rise
The purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon created a lot of angst in the food co-op community. Some food co-ops have faced an existential dilemma (with some closing) as the organics and natural food market continues to grow. In Washington, however, the grocery co-op model has several new ventures. NWCDC met with over 30 people in Port Angeles seeking to start a Food and Farm Co-op in the community and recently incorporated, Pullman community members continue to do a feasibility study for a store. In Bremerton, the Kitsap Community Food Co-op has raised over $50,000. In Tacoma, Grit City Co-op is working hard to open a store in the Hilltop neighborhood and become the second food co-op for this growing port city.
SAVE the Date! Olympia Hosts Co-op Roundtable October 23rd!
Power in Purpose: Cooperative Policy Round Table , a series of public meetings convened by the National Cooperative Business Association will hold a one-day event in Olympia, WA on October 23rd in partnership with the Cooperative Development Foundation and NWCDC. This one-day round table discussion provides an opportunity to connect with local leaders, cooperative businesses, and development experts to identify and articulate the most significant strategic national, state and local policies, financing mechanisms and other systems and structures that support or impede cooperative development. NWCDC's Executive Director, Diane Gasaway, was recently elected to the NCBA/CLUSA Board
New Washington Co-op Law Takes Effect July 28th.
The Limited Cooperative Association (LCA) becomes Washington's new coop model on July 28th. This new form of co-op does not displace the other three formats under State Law (Non-Profit Miscellaneous and Mutual Corporations, Cooperative Associations, and Employee Cooperative Corporations). The new model allows for non-patron (investor) members. Unlike other co-op models, the LCA allows investors to have a voice in the governance of the co-op. The LCA has been controversial in that it seems to ignore the USDA "user principles" of cooperation, but several other states have passed similar laws. Co-op Attorney, Michael Droke (a Partner with Dorsey and Whitney) provides a nice overview of the new law and how it differs from the experience in other states.
ROC NW to Hold Information Session in Bellingham
On August 29th, in Bellingham, ROC Northwest will be convening an evening with manufactured housing community owners and affordable housing providers to learn about resident ownership. The special event will be held at the Community Co-op Connections Classroom. The event is by invitation so if you are (or know) an affordable housing provider or park owners and would like to attend please email the ROC NW team!
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