Are you interested in the running of our café space?
As Co-op members we know that our decisions are only as good as our discussions. And your CB are grateful to have an active and reflective member base to support us in making the trade-offs inherent in successfully and sustainably running our ethically informed, co-operative enterprise.
As outlined in our DFC Chair update from Maureen on December 10th 2021 we’re happy to kick off our consultation and engagement process to inform our use and allocation of Unit2 in Kilmainham and are asking you to input.
Our survey is now closed, thank you to all who took part.
Due to financial and operational constraints DFC are not in a position to take on the running of the space directly ourselves, either as a café or as a shop expansion.
Rent from Unit2 has been, and continues to be, a critical source of income for the Co-op and underpins our significant lending commitments to both members and Community Finance Ireland. Without this rental income, there is considerable pressure on our retail operations to cover our full lending commitments. Furthermore, leaving the space free for ad hoc use by the Co-op is also not a viable option. The shop would need to generate considerable additional revenue to cover the lost income and we don’t believe we’ll be in a position to do this in 2022.
Given all this, we believe that renting the space would be the preferred option, but we want your feedback, and we want to make sure we’re not missing anything.
Across the board, we believe that this decision that we are faced with, is a big opportunity to shape Dublin 8 in line with our local and our national values.
This is potentially a chance to expand to fellow Co-op members in business, support an enterprise that is in line with our DFC goals, potentially work with a small enterprise in a way that would also allow for use of the space by the Co-op. We are keen for all ideas and possibilities, ultimately ensuring that whatever decision we make maximises potential for the Co-op across our financial needs, and our value-driven mission.
Our collective decision on who we rent to, and how fast we can move on this is crucial for the sustainability of out co-operative – but, as always, we’re here because of a bigger mission. So, as ever in DFC, we need to find the sweet spot balancing our financial viability and enterprise needs with our values in building and bolstering an ethically aware and social driven community and economy.
Over the next few weeks we are:
- Asking you to fill in a member survey
– This will help us hone in on balancing our priorities and identify other ideas. The survey is now closed, thank you to all who took part.
- Launching a call for Expressions of Interest from any prospective tenants
– This will inform us of the market, reach out to prospective tenants and move fast. Please share this with anyone and everyone you think might be interested.
- Hosting a consultative session through the Member Affairs Committee (Saturday February 12th).
– This will give us a chance to dig deeper into the feedback, ideas and sense check our process
- Launching a social media campaign
– This will help us get word out about the space and connect with prospective tenants. Again – we’ll ask you to share this on.
- Talking with staff and volunteers across the Co-op
– We are keen to hear all and everything – and the quantity and quality of ears to the ground of our staff and volunteers will bring more insights and feedback.
We need to be generating income through Unit2 by March. Given this financial need to make decisions fast we are staggering this process and will use feedback iteratively to inform the consultative session, our discussions with our stakeholders and next steps.
We’re aiming to keep this engagement process as transparent as possible. Later in the Spring, at the end of this process we will feedback to members and we will collate all feedback into a report which will be provided to the CB for final decision.
We know we’ve made difficult decisions before, and we know that member input, feedback and perspective is crucial for good decision making – that’s why we all choose to participate in this Co-op.
If you have any queries about this process or any of the above please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any queries about the Expressions of Interest or using or leasing the space, please contact Sam Toland on email@example.com.
Thank you for your reflection, input and advice.