Rosebank locals form co-op to buy store
By HELEN JACK
THE Rosebank store is still for sale and Rosebank locals are still determined to make it a community-owned co-operative.
All they need to secure the store's future as a meeting place for residents and an outlet for local produce and arts and crafts is a few more benefactors so the deal can be sealed.
Shop owner Michael Beeson is also determined for the store to remain a community emporium.
He has dropped his original selling price by an undisclosed amount to give the Rosebank Community Co-operative a better chance to bringing the deal together.
"I have done this out of loyalty," Mr Beeson said.
"This community has been my home for 20 years and I love the place.
"I would not want the shop to go from Rosebank."
Mr Beeson said he had received offers from developers, but had rejected them.
"They had their chance at the beginning," he said.
"I would rather see the community own it."
Mr Beeson said he had changed his original financial plans considerably to accommodate the residents' co-op.
"I am not young any more and you are only here once," he said.
"It would be a different thing if I was young.
"I am that committed to the community having it."
Co-op spokeswoman Lydia Kindred said they had nearly reached their goal.
"The owner has made us a great offer and is allowing us to pay off a remaining portion of the shop's sale price," she said.
"And we have put together a great business plan for the shop."
Ms Kindred said ideally they were looking for benefactors who were willing to loan the co-op money at a rate of 6.5 per cent interest.
"In return they will get their name on a plaque at the shop, as well as be involved in the overseeing of the running of the store," she said.
"We will have a board and there will be managers running the shop on a day-to-day basis. The community will also have a say as well."
Ms Kindred said the co-op was putting out the call to the wider community to buy more shares or to lend them cash.
"We need to get more people to put money down to start it all happening," she said.
The co-op's business plan can be obtained by contacting Ms Kindred on 6688 2220, or via the website at villagejournal.org.au