Thurlton Village Community Shop FAQs
Why is keeping the shop open so important?
Village shops are often the heart of the local community providing a means of obtaining provisions and an important opportunity for social contact. The shop is the only convenience store within 3-miles. Consequently many residents, particularly the elderly and those without their own transport, rely on the shop for daily essentials. Community shops play an important role in reducing social isolation by providing a place for people to meet and chat. As such the shop provides a way for the community to keep an eye out for vulnerable residents. The shop can also provide bespoke services to meet the specific needs of the community. Property prices are also affected by the presence of a local shop with those villages that have the benefit of a shop commanding a premium to those in more poorly served spots. Furthermore, by minimising the number of journeys or distances that people drive for provisions, a local shop can reduce our environmental footprint.
How will the shop be run?
To enable the shop to be owned and run by the community for the community, a Community Interest Company (CIC) was set up. People in the community have bought shares in the CIC. Shareholders will vote on its future direction and key decisions, and there is an Executive Committee elected by the shareholders. The shop will primarily be run by volunteers, but, if enough income can be generated, there may be the potential to employ a manager.
What will the funds from the issue of shares in the CIC be used for?
To protect the future of the shop and improve facilities (e.g. disabled access and a café), investments need to be made. The premises are currently rented and in need of repair. The current tenancy agreement includes an option to negotiate the purchase of the building and so the initial goal of raising share capital is to facilitate the purchase of the building and to complete essential repairs.
Why become a shareholder in the Village Community Shop CIC?
By becoming a shareholder in the village community shop you will be helping to secure the future of this valuable community resource. Dividends can be paid in the future, but a CIC is restricted in the amount of any profits that can be paid out to shareholders so this should not be thought of as a traditional financial investment. Each shareholder (however large or small their shareholding) will get one vote in key decisions regarding the future direction of the shop and how the profits are invested for the good of the local community. There is no obligation to invest after the initial share issue and shares can be redeemed at a later stage if, for example, you move out of the area.
Can I help in other ways?
Yes. You do not have to be a shareholder to help. Straightforward donations, however large or small, are always very gratefully received. Volunteers to help in the shop are very welcome or, if you have produce to sell or skills that could be put to good use, please let us know. We have produced a questionnaire to help us improve the shop and make sure it is meeting the needs of the community so please complete this if you can. There is always a suggestions box in the shop and you can also leave feedback via the website suggestion box. Most of all please continue to support the shop with your custom.