Community shops are a well-established model of community co-operation trading primarily for community benefit. They have open and voluntary membership, whereby members are part owners of the business and all members have an equal say in how the business is run.
Our Shop is run according to the Society’s Model Rules.
What are Community Shares?
They are a form of investment called Community Shares. Such shares are ideally suited to the funding of community assets like our village shop. In our case the shares in Houghton & Wyton Community Shop Ltd which is run as a Community Benefit Society (No 7390), and is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
What can investors expect?
Every investor will be a part owner of Houghton & Wyton Community Shop Ltd.
Importantly, each has a voting right to influence the decision making as to how the shop is run.
Under the laws governing a Community Benefit Society like ours, everyone has just one vote regardless of how much anyone invests. The aim here is to reinforce the ethos that all investors are equal and share the desire to see our community shop prosper regardless of how much any individual can afford to invest.
All shareholders are entitled to: vote in the election of the Management Committee and on resolutions tabled at the AGM; and to have the opportunity to stand for election.
Investors can expect relatively modest interest payments (our aspiration is to pay 3% per annum) on the sum they invest and may withdraw their investment, (in essence get their original money back), but both the payment of interest and the option to withdraw any investment must meet certain conditions first.
The H&WCS Ltd must have sufficient funds to support withdrawals or interest payments and is only expected to make interest payments or accept requests for withdrawal after a minimum of three years trading, or such other period as the Management Committee decides.
Community shares cannot be transferred (except on death or bankruptcy). The Management Committee may specify a maximum total sum available withdrawal for any financial year.
A new Open Share Offer to buy shares in Our Shop will be available in April 2020. A share withdrawal scheme allowing members to withdraw some or all of their shares and receive a cash payment is planned for Autumn 2020.