As a community-owned food cooperative, City Market acts as a non-profit when we account for profits we make from sales to our Members. Each profitable year, our General Manager recommends a Patronage Dividend to our Board of Directors. A portion of this Dividend is returned through a Patronage Refund check to eligible Members each November, based on their spending from the prior fiscal year.
Patronage Refund checks distributed last November were smaller than in years’ past, which has been a trend for the past few years as we set aside funds for our South End Store expansion and other capital projects. Since we opened the South End store in 2017, we anticipate that it will take several years for the Co-op to return to profitability. This is both expected and part of our plans for the successful growth of our Co-op. While we will not be issuing Patronage Refund checks during unprofitable years, there are many other tangible benefits of Membership, such as our Member Work program, discounts through our Community Connections program, free Reverse Osmosis water, and owning a grocery store with your friends and neighbors.
2017 Patronage Refund checks were mailed to Members on Thursday, November 9. The deadline to cash or deposit these checks was on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 (90 days, as outlined in City Market's By-Laws).
A Snapshot of 2017 Patronage
- Member purchases totaled over 69% of sales in Fiscal Year 2017.
- The total Patronage Dividend since 2008 is just over $8 million.
- The Board agreed to distribute 30% of the Dividend in cash.
- These checks will recirculate over $330,000 back into our local economy.
- The average 2017 Patronage Refund check is $35.
- Over 1.2 cents of every $1 eligible Members spent is being refunded.
Basic Information on the Patronage Refund
Individual Patronage Refund checks are a refund on profit relative to your Member purchases when your equity is current. Patronage Refund checks are mailed in early November based on your spending in our previous fiscal year (For example, November 2017 Patronage checks are based on spending from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017). Please note that the IRS allows the Patronage Refund as non-taxable income for individuals! Please make sure to keep your equity current and offer our cashiers your Member number or card every time you shop at City Market. This way we can be sure that all of your spending is counted toward your Patronage Refund!
Thank you for your continued support of the Co-op! Your patronage and Membership allows us to be successful and work in a variety of ways to support the local food system and alleviate hunger in our community.