February 12, 2021

Dear friends,

With gratitude for new beginnings in 2021, we welcome two new staff members, celebrate expanding partnerships to work for racial and economic justice, and launch a new series of workshops to help your co-ops grow and thrive. Thank you for seeing us as a resource, and please let us know how we can better serve your co-op or community.

Upcoming Workshops

Hear from CFNE staff at the Cooperative Maine Business Alliance’s panel discussion on loan readiness, February 5 from 1-3 pm. Four lenders from community loan funds to credit unions will demystify the process of applying for credit, including: what lenders look for, the right type(s) of capital for your co-op, and when a loan might be a good choice for start-up, business expansion, or cash flow management. Click here to register 

What distinguishes your co-op and creates value? Whether you are trying to build your business’s customer base, attract new residents for your housing co-op, or keep existing members engaged with your mission, you need a clear and compelling message that can cut through the noise. Join our Community Engagement Facilitator, Johan Matthews, on March 17 from 12-1:30 pm for the first of our interactive lunch-and-learn monthly workshops. Click here to register.

We’re honored to co-host the Boston Ujima Project’s event series surrounding their 2021 Citywide Assembly. Learn more and register here for any of the week’s arts, music and educational events, which run February 14-22.

On Feb. 18, Boston residents are encouraged to attend the Citywide Assembly, which is a core part of Ujima’s governance and organizational structure. This event is the premier of the week, as local participants will deliberate, discuss and ratify Ujima’s Citywide Investment Plan.
Welcome Johan and Joe!

In the past month, we welcomed two new staff members to our virtual team. In recent years, the Hudson Valley, Capital Region, and Adirondack regions of New York state have seen significant growth in cooperative development, including worker cooperative conversions. We are excited for our two New York-based staff to continue to expand an ecosystem of support for this growth.

Johan Matthews, Community Engagement Facilitator, comes to CFNE after 8 years of facilitating community and economic engagement in minority and low income communities throughout the Capital Region of New York state, where he still serves as a trusted collaborator and coach to local leaders striving to create equitable change.

Joe Marraffino, Loan Officer for the eastern Upstate New York region, joins us after many years as the Program Manager for the Democracy at Work Institute’s Workers to Owners program. This personnel transition strengthens an already robust organizational affiliation between CFNE and DAWI.
PPP Funding Reminder:
Apply thru March 31, 2021

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) re-opened last month for first-time and repeat (“Second Draw”) borrowers. This forgivable loan program may be valuable help for businesses whose revenue has been reduced due to the pandemic. If you have questions about your co-op’s eligibility or the terms of the loan, or need help filling out an application, please contact us.

Wishing you health, warmth, and creativity during winter’s dormancy.
In cooperation,
Micha Josephy
Executive Director
Cooperative Fund of New England www.coopfund.coop