Earth's General Store (EGS) has been the hub of Edmonton's environmental community for the past 17 years. I love the store because I trust it implicitly - I know that its owner Michael Kalmanovitch and his staff have picked the products that they offer with true sustainability in mind. EGS is an example of what makes a city great: small businesses that care. Michael is a tireless worker for the community, and EGS has sponsored and organized countless worthy causes and projects.
Michael has recently decided to expand the store - his vision is a cross between the old Roots Organic market and the current EGS. He has developed an innovative funding mechanism (see below) that allows his customers/community to invest in in a resource that will serve them well. Michael already has my cheque. I hope that you will consider this exciting opportunity:
From the Earth General Store website:
Dear Fellow Community Members,
I started Earth's General Store in 1991 as a means to support people to move towards an ecologically healthier lifestyle. I have been told that we have been quite successful.
I am looking to raise some funds for the next stage of the store’s existence – moving to a larger location and expanding the quantity and variety of products. We will continue to offer all of the products we presently offer but with a wide selection being certified organic with a strong emphasis on local sourcing (or locally sourced).
I guesstimate that I should start off with $250,000 in start up capital but I would like to reduce my involvement with banking institutions.
So I have come up with an idea to reach out to our community to seek these funds. I hope you will find this appealing. What I am proposing is that you – the community that I belong to – could become a ‘financial supporter’ of the store. My proposal is that people would make a financial contribution of $2,000 (kind of like a share) and it would be paid back as a purchase discount at a rate of 10%.
For example if you came into the store and bought $100 worth of product you would get a 10% discount off your sales receipt total and that $10.00 would then be subtracted from the $2,000 contribution.
This would allow me to ‘borrow’ money from a large base and therefore people would not be overextended. Paying back the financial supporter through a discount structure would allow the payback to be spread out over a manageable time frame.
It would be most beneficial to start putting this money into an account as soon as possible so that plans can progress.
Thank you for considering this creative community effort. There will be other benefits of being a financial supporter but I will have to work these out so that they are deliverable.
This evolution of Earth's General Store could happen quite quickly – if some things fall into place. I believe that our community will be well served by our new store. As consumers it is always beneficial to have a variety of options to obtain products that support our ecologically friendlier lifestyle.
I welcome your feedback and suggestions. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.