January 6, 2016    

Special Announcement:
New Community Lenders Program!
Hours & Contact

686 Fulton Street
(at South Portland)
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 246-0200
Hours: 10 AM - 10 PM
Every Day!'
In This Issue
Updates on the New Location
Community Lenders Overview
Details and Terms
Answers to FAQs
Article Headline
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Dear Friends and Fans of Greenlight,

When we were working toward opening our Fort Greene store in 2009, we created a program called Community Lenders.  Now, as we look to opening our second location in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in 2016, we're reinventing that program for a new project, and a new community.

While Greenlight is a successful business, with more access to capital than we had as hopeful start-up entrepreneurs, we still believe in the value of community-based financing.  Our community lenders were truly invested in the bookstore, and the store's success allowed us to repay their faith in us - with interest!  We want the new Greenlight location to have the same kind of deep connection to our neighbors and supporters, so we're inviting you to join us in building the bookstore.  Becoming a community lender is a way of investing in your community, and making something great happen where you live.

Read on for details about the new Community Lenders program, as well as some updates on the new store.  If you're interested in participating, you can contact us to ask questions or start the process.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting your (new) local independent bookstore in so many ways!

Rebecca and Jessica
Co-owners, Greenlight Bookstore 
Updates on the new location!

* Since we announced our plans to open a new store in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, many of you have asked the obvious question: when?  The answer is a little bit up in the air, since our new retail space at 626 Flatbush is still under construction as part of Hudson Properties' new development.  However, if all goes well with construction, buildout, and all the other aspects of starting a new business, we hope to be open in late summer or early fall of 2016.

* We're working with Frederick Tang, the architect who designed our Fort Greene store, and his partners at Davies Tang + Toews on designing the new space!  We've had some exciting meetings already, and we're looking forward to creating a bookstore with echoes of the first store's design as well as its own unique personality.
Community Lenders: An Overview

Greenlight Bookstore is asking its community of neighbors, friends and supporters to become Community Lenders as we raise our startup capital for the new Greenlight Flatbush location.  Lenders will loan $1000 or more to Greenlight, and Greenlight will repay all loans, with interest, over a period of five years.  Repayment begins one year after the new store's opening date.  Lenders also get "employee" discounts during the life of their loan, as well as other perks and privileges.
Details and Terms

* Minimum loan amount is $1000.
* Interest rate is between 2.5% and 4%, compounded annually; rate is chosen by the lender and remains private.
* Repayments begin on the first anniversary of the store's opening date (TBD). 
* Payments are made quarterly over five years.
* Lenders are entitled to a 30% discount at Greenlight during the life of their loan (discount applies at both store locations, but not at offsites or BAM kiosks).
* Loans are administered via a Loan Agreement and Promissory Note; documents available upon request.
* Deadline for becoming a Community Lender is June 1, 2016. 
Answers to FAQs

* How much money are you hoping to raise through Community Lenders?
Based on our experience opening the first store, the advantages of having an existing store, and the current financial climate, Rebecca and Jessica estimate we'll need about $200,000 to start up a first-class bookstore on Flatbush.  Some of this may come from institutional loans or lines of credit, so we're hoping to raise some percentage of the amount with community lender loans.

* Why don't you just use Kickstarter or IndieGoGo?
While many bookstores and other institutions we respect have used these fundraising tools, they are donation models, not lender models.  We don't want you to give us money (we're not a nonprofit); we want to repay your  loan as a viable business. 

* What do you mean by "investing in the community"?
While we expect to give our lenders a good return on their investment, making money isn't the only benefit to becoming a Community Lender.  Lenders can also feel satisfied that they have a part in bringing something good and tangible to the neighborhood of Prospect Lefferts Gardens.  An independent bookstore is a community gathering place, a resource for readers and writers of all kinds, a place to encounter literature and ideas as well as conversations with neighbors.  And it's a benefit to the local economy: studies show that independent businesses recirculate 3 to 4 times as much revenue into the local economy as national chains. 

* Why is there a minimum loan amount?
Because we're a small operation, administering many, many small loans would become a burden in terms of staff time and resources. Having a minimum loan of $1000 means that we're dealing with a smaller number of somewhat larger loans.  Interested lenders are welcome to pool their resources and share the interest profits, though there must be a single person/entity to sign the loan documents.

* Why is there a range for the interest rate?

The maximum and minimum rates for the loan reflect the Applicable Federal Rate (AFR) - the minimum interest rate for a legal loan - and the prime rate.  The interest rates offered range from 2.5% (just above the current AFR) to 4% (just above the current prime). This allows each lender to choose if they'd like to make a loan that is more philanthropic (less interest for Greenlight to repay) or geared toward a larger return on investment.

* Why do repayments start after a year?
The first year is typically the most challenging one for any business, especially retail: there are many expenses,  and the business is still growing its customer base.  Building in a year's grace period gives the new bookstore a chance to get on its feet before loan payments kick in, and gives it the best chance of success.

* How does the discount work?
Once you become a Community Lender, we set you up in our computer system with a hard-coded 30% discount (you'll also get an access code to get your discount for online orders.)  It's the same discount our employees get: as a Community Lender, you're part of the team.

* Can I see a business plan for the new store?
Yes! Our business plan for the new location will be finalized later this month; we're happy to share it by request.

If you're interested in becoming a Greenlight Community Lender, or just have further questions, you can email jessica@greenlightbookstore.com.  We'll send you the loan documents for your perusal, and we're happy to answer any questions.