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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Leadership and Governance for Sustainability > Sustainable Development Strategies at Governance Level

Cooperative Banking and Finance

Cooperatives contribute $1 trillion to the US economy, and support 1.2 million jobs.

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Thirty years ago the 95th Congress passed enabling legislation -- the "National Consumer Cooperative Bank Act" that called for the creation of a financial entity that would have a special mission: dedication to meeting the needs of an underserved and widely misunderstood market -- people who join together cooperatively to achieve personal, social and business goals.

NCB was given a charter and mission to support and be an advocate for America's cooperatives and their members, especially in low-income communities, by providing innovative financial and related services.

The Bank Act also provided for the formation of the non-profit affiliate, NCB Capital Impact, charged with empowering America's underserved communities by providing innovative lending and expert technical assistance otherwise unavailable to them.

These two organizations have helpd low- and moderate-income communities achieve sustainable economic progress.

The cooperative business sector has grown and adapted. The co0op model works for large and small endeavors, for urban and rural needs because it allows people to do togehter what they can't do on their own.

Some of the best Cooperatives in American are in California. NCB recently published their list of Top 100 Cooperatives and they include:

  • California Dairies Inc, in Visalia, CA
  • WesCorp FCU in San Dimas, CA
  • Sunkist Growers, Inc. in Sherman Oaks, Ca
  • Blue Diamond Growers, Sacramento, CA
  • SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, CA
  • The Golden 1 Credit Union, Sacramento, CA
  • Sphere 1, Yorba Linda, CA

But there are many other cooperative companies in American that are household words in our local communities... companies like

Ocean Spray
Associated Milke Producers
Dairy Farmers of American
Land O'Lakes
GrowMark
Ace Hardware
HealthPartners
True Value Company
Associated Press

Cooperative Business Strategies

Cooperatives are working in Finance, Agriculture, Energy, Grocery, Foodservice, Communications, Franchise, Healthcare, Media, Hardware and Lumber, Recreation, and Crafts.

Co-ops operate using these principles:

  1. Voluntary and open membership
  2. Democratic member control
  3. Member economic participation
  4. Autonomy and independence
  5. Education, training, and information
  6. Cooperation among cooperatives
  7. Concern for community

Cooperative Business Statistics 2007-2008

  • Total assets of cooperatives in the US total more than $1 trillion.
  • Cooperatives generate nearly $250 billion in annual revenue and support the generation of over $500 billion in annual revenue.
  • Cooperatives directly employ nearly 500,000 people and indirectly support more than 1.2 million jobs.
  • There are more than 30,000 cooperatives in the US that account for more than 45,000 places of business.

Research Source: www.uwcc.wisc.edu



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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