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JOINING A LOCAL CO OP

A co op or co operation brings together people in a not for profit organization. Co ops are popular across the world and can be beneficial to consumers, to business owners, to managers, to parents and to anyone else. If you are considering joining a local co op, you need to know what you are getting into ahead of time. Weigh the pros and cons of joining a local co op so that you find the right fit for you.

Types of Local Co Ops

There are several different types of co ops you may consider joining. Retailer co ops offer plenty of benefits to the partial owners. Food and grocery store co ops are quite popular as are hardware store, pharmacies and even hotel co ops. One of the biggest benefits to joining a retailer co op is that you will be offered discounts.

Social co ops are also quite popular. There are two different types of social cooperatives - Type A and Type B. The former brings together providers and beneficiaries of a social service as members while the latter brings together permanent workers and unemployed people who want to get into the labor market.

You may want to look into a consumer cooperative which is a business owned by its customers. This is a great way to get involved with something that you are passionate about. Why be a customer when you can be a partial owner? Some of the popular consumer co ops out there include Recreational Equipment Incorporated (REI), Mountain Equipment Co-Op, EcoMart Northern Rivers Co-op, Legacoop and the Co-operative Group.

How to Join a Local Co Op

When joining a local co op you will need to fill out an application and pay a membership fee among other things. You may need to volunteer your time and services as well as pay an annual fee. Joining a local co op means that you will have some say about how things work; however, you will not be the boss and you cannot expect radical change just because you have signed your name.

Local co-ops bring together people in the same situation as you. One of the biggest benefits is that you can make friends and meet others that share your passion. Many local co ops are committed to keeping the product fresh and local. Grocery store co ops, for example, may focus on using local ingredients and local foods from farmers in the area, and they may even share tips on how to keep plants alive during a drought. This ensures that you get fresh food and that the local farmers are making a living.

Another reason why many people will look into joining a local co op is that they will be able to save money through discounts. This is not necessarily the case. The annual joining fees can get quite expensive and often, because you are supporting local business owners, local products and local ingredients, you are not going to cut the costs. What you will get is higher quality products that you can feel comfortable buying.

Joining a local co op does come with a lot of benefits, especially if you are passionate about the situation and want to get involved. There are co ops that are volunteer basis as well as ones that are worker orientated. You can find cooperatives in all aspects of life, from housing co ops to new generation co ops. When joining a local co op, do a little bit of research, think about both the pros and the cons and find one that will match your passion, your lifestyle and your beliefs.

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