Your Co-op membership offers you a lifetime of rewards including the promise of high-quality products and service at competitive prices. We also offer the potential for annual cash-back and an equity account that grows over time, as well as the opportunity to get involved as a member-owner. This makes us a different kind of business; our profits are your profits and they are invested directly back into the community through you.
Co-ops have an open membership. Many co-ops include minimum age requirements for members in their bylaws.
Being a co-op member means that you own a share of a business in your community.
To become a member:
- You purchase an initial share in the co-op (see the Become a Member page for details related to your local Co-op).
- You receive a co-op membership number.
Every time you make a purchase at your co-op, you will be asked for your number, which is used to record your purchases. Your purchases are recorded because your share of the co-op’s earnings is based on your purchases through the year.
Your local co-op number works only within the communities served by your local co-op. Communities served by other co-ops will not use the same member number. Each co-op is independent and has different policies regarding equity and cash back.
No, but by becoming a member you become a part owner of the business and share in the earnings of the co-op. You can also attend annual meetings, vote on resolutions and run for a position on the Board of Directors.
Earnings from the co-op are distributed to members based on their purchases during the year. Earnings are returned to members either as equity or cash, depending on each co-op’s financial situation.
The cash portion is paid out to you each year.
The equity portion is your money that is being held back by the co-op to help finance the business, and maintain and upgrade assets to ensure ongoing success.
Equity is normally paid out:
- when you move away from the trading area or
- when you reach a certain age as specified by the Board of Directors or
- when the equity is paid to your estate.
- A tax of 15% is withheld from refunds exceeding $100.
- If your purchases are for personal use they are not taxable and you can claim back this amount as pre-paid income tax by using box 22 of your T4A and including this amount on line 437 of your income tax return.
- If your purchases are for business purposes the amount of your refund can be included as part of your income tax calculation.