Where is my Patronage Refund Check?
City Market has offered Patronage Refund checks to Members since 2009, as a form of profit- sharing in the Co-op that we own together. Because this is a profit-sharing program, we only issue Patronage Refunds in profitable years. Since we were not profitable last fiscal year (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) due to our recent expansion, we will not be distributing these checks to Members this year.
From opening day through to the end of June (the end of our fiscal year), the South End store exceeded planned sales and we also exceeded our overall financial sales goals as a multi-store co-op. This was a fantastic start; however, we still anticipate that it will take 3 to 4 years before the Co-op returns to profitability, which was entirely expected considering the significant investments we’ve made over the past year. Because the Co-op only issues Patronage Refund checks in profitable years, once we achieve profitability, we’ll again recommend to the Board that we consider the Patronage process.
While we will not be issuing Patronage Refund checks during unprofitable years, there are many other tangible benefits of Membership that I encourage you to take advantage of, such as our Member Work program, where for a few hours of volunteering with any of our 22 non-profit partners you can earn a 7% or 12% discount on groceries with us while giving back to our community. Members saved an average of over $900 in groceries with us through these discounts last year! We also offer our Members discounts at business throughout our community through our Community Connections program, free Reverse Osmosis water, discounted City Market classes, every 11th coffee is automatically free, access to our Member Artist program, and access to Food For All and Senior Discounts when applicable.
In addition to these more tangible benefits, we feel that owning a grocery store with your friends and neighbors that will be locally owned forever and having a say in the governance of that store are incredibly important benefits to being a Member of our Co-op.
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.