The Co-op issues a Patronage Refund to Members in profitable years; the full amount is determined by the Board and is calculated as a percentage of Member sales.
Unfortunately due to rapidly growing expenses in 2022, including inflation, rising wages, transportation costs, and cost of energy, we ended up with an $18k net loss for the fiscal year. Because there was zero net income for the year, the Co-op will not be issuing a patronage refund to our Members in 2023.
We know this is a disappointment for many of our Members who frequently shop here at the Co-op, and we appreciate your ongoing loyalty and support.
What is a Patronage Rebate?
- Patronage Rebates are determined by the Net Income of the Co-op in a given year, as a way for the Co-op to share its earnings with Members.
- Each year the Board of Directors votes on whether to issue a Patronage Rebate, based on the Net Income of the previous year.
- This is one of the most powerful tax benefits we derive from being a Cooperative. Co-ops are allowed to distribute the net income earned from sales to Members, as a rebate to Members. The Co-op does not pay taxes on this amount. Nor is your share considered taxable income, since it’s essentially a deferred price reduction on purchases you’ve already made.
- Patronage dividends celebrate Cooperative Principle #3 – Member Economic Participation. The more you shop at Littleton Co-op, the higher the patronage dividend will be!
How is the Patronage Rebate Calculated?
- The 2021 Patronage Rebate is $430,000, or 3.82% of Member purchases.
- 20% ($86,000) will be distributed among our Members as a Patronage Rebate refund.
- 80% ($344,000) will be retained by the Co-op as capital.
How do I know if I qualify for a 2021 Patronage Dividend Rebate?
To qualify, you must:
- Be a current Member of Littleton Food Co-op;
- Have owned at least 1 Member Share between 1/3/2021 and 1/1/2022;
- Be in good standing with the Co-op; ie, your Membership has not ever been revoked or refunded due to disagreement or belligerent behavior
- The more you shopped at the Co-op between 1/3/2021 and 1/1/2022, the higher your Patronage Dividend Rebate will be.
- Qualifying Members with rebates (including funds accumulated from previous years) greater than $6.00 will receive a letter in the mail in October 2022 notifying them that they have Patronage funds available to them.
- All available funds from Patronage Dividend Rebates will be applied as a credit to Members’ accounts. Your cashier can look it up in our system.
How do I use my Patronage Dividend Rebate?
- Rebates are redeemable at Littleton Food Co-op and have been applied as a credit to your account.
- When making a purchase, let your cashier know that you would like to use your rebate.
- We encourage you to donate your rebate to the Littleton Food Co-op Community Fund (LFCCF).
- If your rebate is $50.00 or more you may request payment by check. Contact Minnie Cushing at email@example.com.
What is the Littleton Food Co-op Community Fund?
- LFCCF is a non-profit 501c3 that allows Co-op Members and shoppers to contribute to an endowment that donates to local non-profit organizations.
- The Co-op earns interest from this Fund, which is then donated to a local organization each year.
- For more information about LFCCF, click here.
What if I have a more in-depth question about Patronage?
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for general questions. You may also speak with Minnie Cushing in our Finance Department during weekday business hours. If she’s not available, one of our staff can take a message, or you can email her at email@example.com.