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South Carolina Cooperatives - What Are They & How Do They Work?
South Carolina cooperatives, or co-ops, have been in existence for several years serving people and businesses for the betterment of the community. Cooperatives are South Carolina businesses owned by the folks who utilize them. Depending on classification, they either provide certain services or foods to those within the community. Those 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, farming cooperatives are controlled and owned by the user, typically farmers. Farmers have the ability 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.
South Carolina Cooperatives - Group Classifications
South Carolina Co-ops are classified into groups such as;
- Marketing Cooperatives
- Purchasing Cooperatives
- Service Cooperatives
- Food Cooperatives
Within these classifications you'll find more specialized cooperatives in South Carolina such as;
- child care
- credit union
Each of these offers affordable alternatives to those who are a part of the cooperative. Members have the choice of electing a board of directors. The board of directors manages activities within the cooperative.
Consortium child care cooperatives are also supplied within industrial parks. This helps parents in SC place their child within a daycare that is reasonably close to their job and often at a cheaper rate than most daycares. Even though it is the businesses who supply the initial funding to begin 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 decide how it's ran.
A good example of how utility cooperatives can work for their members is Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative Company. This business delivers telephone service to its members who hold shares within the company and at the end of each and every year each member receives a portion of that profit sharing. This not only encourages others to become members and pay their bill on time regularly, but also benefits both the company and those that they provide service to.
South Carolina electric and telephone cooperatives provide their services to people while hearing members voices. The members have the ability to voice their concerns and suggest what they want changed as it is them who choose what it is that goes on within that cooperative.
Membership in South Carolina Cooperatives
Members of a South Carolina cooperative have a large list of responsibilities that they have to follow. They must make certain that all of the relevant laws are met and followed by its members. They must appoint or removed directors on an appropriate basis. Members must know what their cooperative offers and familiarize them self with services in order to better serve others. You must be able to meet customer satisfaction in order to run efficiently, effectively and profitably.
There are instances when cooperatives in South Carolina must decide to merge with other businesses in order to expand their services or dissolve on the grounds that there is not enough supply and demand of their services. The decisive 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 South Carolina are an important part of people's everyday lives. By giving goods and services 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 really is crucial to have these in our lives in order to keep things in balance between affordable and quality in our lives. Individuals are brought together in a cooperative group in order to run a business that will provide quality services to those in need while maintaining the ability to make decisions about their company as a whole. That is what makes South Carolina cooperatives so unique amongst the rest in today's times.