In the cooperative world, common wisdom says that fundraising goes very slowly. We have not found that to be the case! We started offering Preferred Shares in March of 2018 with a minimum goal of 150 Preferred Shares, or $75,000, which we felt was a bare minimum amount in order to let us borrow the rest and complete our build-out. We hoped to do this within a year.
Fast-forward to one year later, and we have sold over 230 Preferred Shares for a total of over $115,000 capital raised from our members! This outpouring of support from our membership allows us to start our build-out in a much better financial situation than we expected. But we’re not done yet! We still dream of upgrading our fermenters from plastic to stainless steel, installing a solid hardwood bartop, adding a color to the floor, and installing a 12′ picture window facing the lake. So keep those Preferred Shares coming! It’s a great way to invest in your local community, local jobs, local products, and to make a nice return on your investment in the process. Read on!
WHAT IS A PREFERRED SHARE? A preferred share is a way for us, the cooperative, to borrow capital from you, the member, and pay you back with interest. Each share costs $500, and you can buy as few as one(1) or as many as twenty(20) shares. We pay you back with interest depending on the terms you choose. If you elect a 3-year term, we pay 4% annual interest. If you elect a 6-year term, we pay you 4.5% annually. If you elect a 9-year term, we pay you a generous 5% at the end of your term.
HOW MUCH INTEREST DO I EARN? That depends on the term you select. Let’s say you invest $1000 and select the 9-year term. $1000 compounded annually for 9 years returns $1551.33 at the end of the term. That’s what we pay you at the end of your preferred share agreement.
IS THIS INVESTMENT GUARANTEED? All investments have some risk, and this is no exception. So the short answer is no. However, we are 100% committed to making this cooperative successful and fulfilling all of our financial investments.
WHY SHOULD I INVEST? Marquette Brewing Cooperative is a local, community-owned business, so your money will stay local. We are one of a handful of cooperative breweries throughout the nation, so we are truly creating something special for our Marquette community. We are dedicated to brewing beer that meets our three criteria: Creativity, Quality, and Variety. But we are also dedicated to using local ingredients, paying a fair wage, and being a good neighbor every way we can. Your investment in Marquette Brewing Cooperative is a local, socially responsible investment that earns you a generous return. We need capital. Wherever we get that capital, we’ll have to pay interest. We would rather give the benefit of that interest to you, our members, than to a bank or other lending organization.
HOW DO I INVEST? This has to be done in person due to the necessity for signatures from the investor(s) and board members. The easiest way to invest is to attend our weekly office hour at the brewery at 501 Lake Street each Tuesday from 7-8pm. Investment documents can be reviewed and printed here. We also have the documents available at the cooperative at our weekly office hour. We will also gladly make an appointment to meet with you at another time of your convenience. To set up an appointment, you can email Board President David Gill at firstname.lastname@example.org
CAN I INVEST IF I DON’T LIVE IN MICHIGAN? Unfortunately, Michigan State Law does not allow investors from out of state. We would love to accept investments from residents of other states, and we do have members from many others, but this is beyond our control at this point. We still value your membership!
Again, we are at the brewery every Tuesday from 7-8PM or we will meet with you by appointment to process the paperwork if Tuesday does not work for you.
Thank you for being a member, and we look forward to pouring you beer. With your help, we’ll be pouring by the end of this year!