轉寄︰ Save The People’s Supermarket!

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—– 轉寄的郵件 —-
從︰ The People’s Supermarket <conduit@thepeoplessupermarket.org>
收件人︰ Houghton <incubator.hou@gmail.com>
傳送日期︰ 2012年02月26日 (週日) 8:03 PM
主題︰ Save The People’s Supermarket!

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The People's Supermarket
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: 26 February 2012

The People’s Supermarket in danger of closure within the week

Ground-breaking community project and social enterprise The People’s Supermarket is faced with closure within the week unless payments can be renegotiated with one of its creditors.  

Members of The People’s Supermarket are asking Camden Council to enter into further negotiations on their business rate debts, considering the alternative nature of the supermarket. The member-owned co-operative in Holborn functions for the social and environmental benefit of its local community, not in pursuit of profit. Closure of the supermarket would mean the loss of 23 in-store jobs that were given to members, some of whom were long-term unemployed. Over thirty local and small suppliers who have benefitted from The People’s Supermarket as a retail outlet in Central London will also lose business. Local resident John Levitt said, “seeing our supermarket close will mean another empty shop on the high street”.

The project, which is unique to Camden, and is run by hundreds of volunteer members, has engaged citizens from all generations and backgrounds. They have created a home-grown community centre operating as a waste-free and democratic supermarket. It is a new and growing enterprise, and by that nature has not dealt easily with its finances.

However, The People’s Supermarket has recently been meeting benchmark figures to break even. It has worked with all its other creditors, mostly product suppliers, who have granted them breathing space on their debts. The co-operative has also fulfilled its payments to HMRC. “It’s ironic,” said member Jake Pover, “that huge businesses can survive without paying taxes, but small businesses wanting to pay taxes are in danger.”

The People’s Supermarket doesn’t currently benefit from any rate relief, and is charged with the same amount of tax that any of the Big Four would be charged with in the same unit. “Camden Council also struggles financially, having lost 45% of their central government funding,” said member and local student Elliot Bannister. “But we’re not asking for funding from them, all we need is more time to pay back our debts. It’s about co-operation.”

If the project closes, none of its creditors would be paid. It is the business rates bill that will be the decisive factor in the survival of the project. Members are confident that Camden Council will want to partner with the project because of the assets it brings to the borough, and the social costs involved with the end of its community work.

The People’s Supermarket launched a petition on Friday evening and by Sunday morning it had reached over a thousand signatures. http://www.change.org/petitions/camden-council-london-save-the-peoples-supermarket

– Ends –

For press enquiries please contact members of The People’s Supermarket:
Tara Mulqueen on 07584 063 278 or tara@thepeoplessupermarket.org
Michael Mulcahy on 07808 721 376 or michael@thepeoplessupermarket.org  
Elliot Bannister on 07986 882 690 or elliot.bannister@hotmail.co.uk  
Andy Leach on 07921 220 689 or andy@thepeoplessupermarket.org  
Jake Pover on 07954 615 949 or jake.pover@live.com  

  Notes to editors:
The People’s Supermarket began trading in June 2010 as a sustainable food co-op that is run and owned by members of the community. Members work four hours a month voluntarily and can shop for 20% cheaper than the public. Decisions, including those on the shop’s products, policies and outreach work, are made democratically by members, with the goal of maintaining a commercially-viable enterprise that is also socially and environmentally beneficial.

The project has been recognised nationally and internationally for community cohesion, job creation, provision of work experience and training, solutions to food waste and ethical remodelling of the food supply chain. The collective effort has won various awards including the Local Retailer Award in the Observer Ethical Awards 2011.

Since December 2011, The People’s Supermarket has had debts put on hold to all creditors apart from Camden Council and has been paying its suppliers cash on delivery. These voluntary agreements last until the new financial year when repayment plans will begin.

The People’s Supermarket has been asked to pay immediately the remainder of its business rates for 2010/11 and 2011/12, which it cannot afford in the short term. Members are hoping for Camden Council to demonstrate compassion and flexibility by providing a similar graceperiod to other creditors.

The Board of The People’s Supermarket consists of members who were elected last year by the rest of the membership body. It would be a criminal offence for The Board to allow operation whilst insolvent. Unless Camden Council becomes flexible with its demands for immediate payment of business rates, insolvency will be unavoidable, and therefore the Board will ask on Friday 2 March for the members’ permission to close

Copyright © 2012 The People’s Supermarket, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a member or affiliate of The People’s Supermarket.
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The People’s Supermarket

72-78 Lamb’s Conduit Street
Bloomsbury

London, London WC1N 3LP

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