With the support of the National Cooperative Bank (NCB), PACA was able to offer our first-ever Catapult Grants to offer free co-op business advice to startup co-ops in the Philadelphia area.
We received many wonderful applications, and on Saturday, May 14, at our CO-UP teach-in event, we presented three Catapult Grant awards:
Brewers’ Co-op of Philadelphia — $5,000 worth of business coaching from PACA
South Philly Food Co-op — $2,500 worth of business coaching from PACA
Media Mobilizing Project — $2,500 worth of business coaching from PACA
National Cooperative Bank vice president of advocacy and government programs R.L. Condra was at CO-UP to present the awards.
Below, you can learn more about these exciting startup co-ops and their plans for using their time with PACA to move towards launching their cooperative businesses.
Brewers’ Co-op of Philadelphia
The Brewers’ Co-op of Philadelphia has been awarded $5,000 worth of technical assistance from PACA staff. The Brewers’ Co-op’s first meetings were organized in 2014 by PACA steering committee members and their homebrewing friends. Since those initial meetings, a group of entrepreneurial homebrewers, craft beer enthusiasts, and cooperators have continued to develop the vision for their co-op. They are planning to open a production brewery and tasting room that is owned by brewers and consumers. The co-op will be an incubator for aspiring professional brewers to learn how to launch their own independent breweries.
They have recently incorporated as a cooperative and are on the cusp of launching their capital campaign and being a more public effort. Because they have an incubator business model, the project has an incredible amount of potential to launch multiple independent co-op breweries.
PACA is excited to help them with their next phase of development and set them on a course to a successful Grand Opening and operations beyond.
South Philly Food Co-op
The South Philly Food Co-op has been awarded $2,500 worth of technical assistance from PACA staff. The South Philly Food Co-op has been organizing residents in South Philly to open a cooperatively owned grocery store owned. Their incredible work over the years has built a membership of over 660 members!
As the South Philly Food Co-op prepares to enter into the implementation phase of their project where they secure a location and prepare to open, they will have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. PACA will be providing technical assistance to them at this critical time in their project. We are eager to help them open their store and substantially impact their community by increasing access to high quality food and food education, while strengthening the local economy by providing living wage jobs and by supporting local and regional producers and growers.
Media Mobilizing Project
Media Mobilizing Project has been awarded $2,500 worth of technical assistance from PACA staff. Media Mobilizing Project (MMP) is a non-profit that uses media to organize poor and working people to tell their stories to each other and the world, disrupting the stereotypes and structures that keep our communities divided. MMP is developing a co-op of media makers to enhance the media production and organizing work that MMP already supports. MMP trains and works with numerous media freelancers whose work can be better supported as a cooperative.
As MMP begins to launch this exciting project, PACA staff will be there to support them as they establish a vision and structure for their co-op. We are particularly excited to work with them right at the beginning as they enhance the important and high quality media work that is already being made by MMP freelancers for social justice causes. They already know the media business really well, and PACA can help them do it as a cooperative.
Thank you, National Cooperative Bank!
The Catapult Grants are only possible because of the support of National Cooperative Bank (NCB).
NCB is a unique financial institution that has answered the banking needs of America’s cooperatives and like-minded organizations for more than 30 years. We’re so grateful for their strong support of the cooperative economy.