Cooperatives in Portland, OR

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Portland Cooperatives - What Are They & How Do They Work?

Portland cooperatives, or co-ops, have been in existence for a long time serving people and businesses for the betterment of the community. Cooperatives are Portland businesses owned by the individuals who utilize them. Depending on classification, they either provide certain services or foods to those in the community. People who are a part of a cooperative benefit by helping, not only themselves, but others as well.

They provide necessary components to the economy. For example, agriculture cooperatives are controlled and owned by the user, typically farmers. Farmers are able to join what are known as marketing cooperatives and charge more for the products but less for their marketing, attracting business. Those buying the products benefit on the fact that they are purchasing fresher, healthier products.

Portland Cooperatives - Group Classifications

Portland co-ops are classified into groups including;

  • Marketing Cooperatives
  • Purchasing Cooperatives
  • Service Cooperatives
  • Food Cooperatives

Within these classifications you'll find more specialized cooperatives in Portland, OR such as;

  • child care
  • health
  • utilities
  • credit union
  • housing
  • worker
  • agriculture
  • dairy  

Each of these offers inexpensive alternatives to those who are a part of the cooperative. Members have the option of electing a board of directors. The board of directors manages activities inside the cooperative.

Consortium child care cooperatives are also offered within industrial parks. This can help parents in Portland place their child within a daycare that is reasonably close to their job and usually at a lower rate than most daycares. Though it may be the businesses who deliver the initial funding to start this type of service, it still revolves back to those that own the daycare electing their own board of directors. It is the owner of the business and its members that supply all the decisions and ultimately choose how it is ran.

A good example of how utility cooperatives can work for their members is Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative Company. This business offers telephone service to its members who hold shares within the company and at the end of each and every year each member gets a portion of that profit sharing. This not only entices others to become members and pay their bill on time regularly, but also benefits both the company and those that they provide service to.

Portland electric and telephone cooperatives provide their services to people while hearing members voices. The members are able to voice their concerns and suggest what they need changed as it is them who choose what it is that goes on within that cooperative.


Membership in Portland Cooperatives

 Members of a Portland cooperative have a large list of responsibilities that they must follow. They must be sure that all of the applicable laws are met and followed by its members. They must appoint or removed directors on an appropriate basis. Members must know what their cooperative delivers and acquaint them self with services in order to better serve others. You must be able to meet customer satisfaction to be able to run efficiently, effectively and profitably.

There are instances when cooperatives in Portland must choose to merge with other businesses in order to expand their services or dissolve on the grounds that there's not enough demand and supply of their services. The definitive role of the members can be difficult and yet it is crucial that they are well informed and able to make those decisions.

Cooperatives in Portland, OR are an important part of people's everyday lives. By giving services and goods to their members, they are offering a mutually beneficial option. Without cooperatives, nearly 26 million people in America would be without the electric services that these places provide. Over 100 million Americans would be hard pressed to find affordable goods and services and all the net worth that these cooperatives pull in together would be lost.

It is crucial to have these in our lives in order to keep things in balance between affordable and quality in our lives. People are brought together in a cooperative group in order to run a business that will provide quality services to those in need while keeping the ability to make decisions about their company as a whole. That is what makes Portland cooperatives so unique among the rest in today's times.