Annual Meeting Finance Update

Greetings co-op member-owners and friends!

We know many of you weren’t able to make it to the annual meeting on October 25, so here’s a quick summary of highlights from this past year of co-op operations.

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We have much to celebrate! We’ve emerged from this fiscal year in a much stronger position than 12 months prior. Although sales are down compared to last fiscal year (our fiscal year runs July-June), we've been able to not only meet our financial obligations but also pay down accounts payable. This was accomplished primarily through overhead reduction, careful inventory management, and methodical payment plans. More detailed explanation follows.

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Our gross sales for the year total $3,290,743. As you can see in the chart, this is down from the previous year, the sales tumbling in August/Sept 2017 (Q1) but slowly climbing back up since January (Q3).

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 Our expenses are significantly down since last fiscal year. The cost saving measures implemented by co-op management in terms of overhead reduction and inventory management have kept the co-op afloat during a difficult period last fall.

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 We started the fiscal year saddled with over $200,000 in debt to vendors. With new management and an almost entirely new board of directors starting in October 2017, we looked to heal those relationships and start payment plans to pay down the debt. Today our A/P balance is $44,000 over 90 days and we expect to have that completely cleared in early 2019.

Our business plans did not include a $200,000 vendor debt. Because of this, we have had to refinance our loans with our commercial lenders, who have been more than accommodating in extending interest-only terms through the end of 2018. In January 2019, the co-op will start making principle payments on those loans, the timing coinciding with the expected accounts payable vendor debt payoff to enable a relatively smooth financial transition.

In addition, the unexpected vendor debt meant the co-op was unable to set aside funds for the eventual payment of member loans. Because of this, to enable the co-op to make member loan payments without endangering the co-op’s financial position, the co-op will be requiring 2-year extensions on all member-loans. Member-owners holding loans will be contacted, in the order in which their loans were acquired, to outline these extension terms. If you have a loan with the co-op and wish to inquire about the extension, do not hesitate to contact the Board at any time at board@bismanfoodcoop.coop.

The best way you can support the coop? Shop the coop! Our greatest need right now is increased revenue, and our co-op staff is more than happy to serve you.

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