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Co-op Network CEO Praises Feasibility Grants
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/24/2022

The leader of the Madison-based Cooperative Network says recent approval of seven grants designed to determine the feasibility of developing new cooperatives or expanding existing cooperatives in Wisconsin underscores the success the cooperative business model has long demonstrated in advancing economic opportunities. Daniel Smith said in an editorial piece this week that the funds will provide the financial means for existing or prospective cooperatives to study all aspects of their proposals before making major investments.

The 2021-23 Wisconsin state budget allocates up to $200,000 each year for the 'Wisconsin Cooperative Feasibility Grants,' with the grant program administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, in consultation with Cooperative Network.

Recipients of the money include Whitewater Grocery Cooperative, Whitewater; Northcountry Cooperative Foundation Green and Rock Counties; Southern Wisconsin Meat Cooperative, Blanchardville; Spring Green Animal Hospital, Spring Green; Bender Family Farms, Cambria; Menomonie Food Co-op, Menomonie; and Madison Cannabis Community Cooperative, Madison.

Smith says his group applauds the WEDC's efforts to assist existing cooperatives resolve their business challenges and act on opportunities to better meet the needs of their members, as well as allow new groups considering the cooperative model to set themselves up for success.

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