That's right - the Cortes Natural Food Co-op took second place in the West region of the National Co-op Challenge! We spread the word about this contest far and wide, so hopefully you know about it and you saw our video. If not, go to http://cortescoop.ca/co-op-challenge
for the overview.
We thank all of you for your support - for your votes, for sharing the video, for encouraging other people to vote, and everything else. We could not have done it without you. And we also thank the rest of the co-ops who were involved - we affirm and support all that they do for their communities.
We will use the money to fund our process for deciding what to do with the land after we purchase it. We'll start with strategic planning that involves the whole community and then we'll work on a feasibility study and business plan from there. There are many possibilities - the solar aquatics system as both an educational and tourist attraction, affordable housing, community gardens, more businesses and more co-ops - and we intend to explore all of them. In the end, we intend to do what's best for our community, and a thorough process will help us figure that out.
Of course, we will do our best to keep this money "local" as much as possible by relying on the expertise and experience of our local talent. We brought the money home to Cortes, and that's where we intend to keep it!
So thanks for your enthusiasm and your energy. The contest money will help us keep that momentum going - and we hope that you'll stay involved. Look for more ways to participate after the first of the year.