What does it mean to be an owner?
When you buy a membership share you have a voice in the co-op! Your share entitles you to vote or run for the board. As an owner you will receive special offers when the store opens as well as rebates when we have profits. Your share is $250 for your household. Shares are not yearly fees, you pay this amount to become an owner of the co-op. This can be paid all at once or over ten months at $25 per month. If you are low income, you can access our Food for All program and buy a share for $25. If your budget does not allow you to buy a share, we have a scholarship program that can help.
Prior to becoming an owner, GRFCI is required to advise each prospective member of the following rights and restrictions on membership and member equity. Please read this over carefully before filling out the Ownership Application.
- Grand Rapids Food Co-op Inititative is subject to the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act, as amended (PA 162 of 1982; MCLA 450.2101 et seq.). GRFCI is organized under the Consumer Cooperative Act, which is Chapter 11 of the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act, as amended.
- The purpose of ownership in GRFCI is to assure access to the goods, services, and facilities of the cooperative, not to gain profit. Ownership is defined as a household of people living under one roof and each ownership has one vote.
- Owners are entitled to vote for the Board of Directors, receive notice of and to attend special meetings and vote on issues put before the ownership as stated in section 6.3 of the Bylaws. Owners may also run for the Board of Directors as stated in section 8.6.
- Ownership in GRFCI is open to all regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. A requirement of ownership at GRFCI is payment of owner equity share in an amount determined by the Board of Directors. Currently that amount is a total of $250. This amount can be paid all at once or $25/month. Your share amount is refundable if you decide to leave the co-op. Low income and fixed income ownerships are also available. (Bylaws Section 6.2)
- Ownership in GRFCI may be terminated by resignation, failure to pay member capital, decision of the Board of Directors, or death. Upon termination of membership, member capital will be redeemed within 5 years upon written request. (Bylaws Section 6.5)
- An owners ownership and the owner equity share paid by a member is not transferable. (Bylaws Section 6.6)
- Owners have the right to call special meetings and cause referenda on issues of concern to them. (Bylaws Sections 7.4, 7.6-8) Owners also have the right to receive annual reports and to secure other material information concerning the cooperative. (Bylaws Sections 10.5-6) No owner is personally liable for paying any losses suffered by the Co-op. (Bylaws Section 10.8)
- As with any investment, your ownership share is subject to risk. If the Co-op is unsuccessful, the Board of Directors will determine distribution of remaining assets. Every effort will be made to refund the paid portion of your owner equity share.