Coddenham Community Shop Limited
A Community Benefit Society in the course of registration
17th May 2019
This letter is from the fundraising members of the Coddenham Community Shop Limited Steering Group, which has been formed to raise the funds required to set up and run the village shop on a community basis.
The Finance Team
We are Rod Stanley Bell, David McDonnell, Elaine Thomas and Tim Thomas. We are part of a larger team of volunteers who have been working hard to establish the necessary business framework to make Coddenham Community Shop a realistic proposition.
Sources of Finance
We are currently researching what grants may be available, both locally and nationally, but it is clear that these will only form a small part of the fundraising that is required. We have a tight timescale, and we are likely to need to raise around £30 - 35,000 in order to equip and stock the shop, and provide some working capital.
As part of the grant applications, we need to establish how much the community is willing to invest, and whether there is a genuine willingness in the village to contribute sufficient funds to make the project work. Therefore, we are contacting you now to ask more specifically what you would be prepared to contribute. However, rest assured that we are not just contacting you, and we will be offering the same opportunity to all members of the community.
We are forming a company in which villagers can invest by buying shares. The primary objective of the company is to run the shop for the benefit of the community, and in the longer term, if there is any surplus, to use this for the benefit of the wider community of the village. The company itself will be a Community Benefit Society and will be registered with, and regulated by, the Financial Conduct Authority.
Anyone who invests the minimum of £50, which will be the price of single share, will have a vote and therefore a say in the affairs of the business at General Meetings, and it is the intention that there will be a committee of members to oversee the day-to-day running of the business. Of course, we welcome bigger share holdings (legal maximum is £100,000) but the business will operate strictly on a one member, one vote basis, regardless of how many shares you hold. We will be seeking advance assurance from HMRC to ensure that investors will qualify for 50% tax relief on their investment under the provisions of Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes and it is likely that this will limit the maximum shareholding per family to £4,500.
The Company will not pay dividends to shareholders but you may be able to recoup your initial investment in the future by selling your shares back to the Company. To give the business a chance to establish itself we will need to agree an initial period of five years, during which time the buying back of shares will be restricted, but thereafter the expectation is that there may be profits to fund withdrawals within parameters agreed by the members.
We have prepared a business plan and firmly believe that with your support the business will be profitable, provided that we ensure we are responding to what you, our community, needs. A separate sub-committee is already working on this plan and proposals to make sure that the business is a success.
How You Can Help
The more people who are able to pledge a donation, however small, or buy shares, and the wider the section of the community that is involved in our project, the greater the likelihood of success. We appreciate that some people will not be interested or able to purchase shares and may prefer to make a donation instead, for which we would be extremely grateful.
To help us judge the level of support we have, we would be grateful if you would fill in the enclosed form with how much money you are prepared to pledge. No money changes hands at this stage, and this is not a final commitment on your part. More financial information and details of the proposals will be provided in due course before you decide whether you would like to buy shares or make a donation. If you wish to post the form back to us, please try to get it to us by 26 May, and send it to either Rod at Coopers Cottage, School Lane or David at The Pink House, Church Road, Coddenham.
Alternatively, there will be collection boxes at Haysel House and in the church porch. We appreciate that many of you will want your pledges to be kept confidential and so only members of the steering group will read the forms and will provide the wider group with the totals only.
If you have any questions about the formation of Coddenham Community Shop Limited or the proposed share structure then please feel free to speak to any of the steering committee.
Rod Stanley-Bell 01449 761970 email@example.com
David McDonnell 01449 761793 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Thomas 01449 760792 email@example.com
Elaine Thomas 01449 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rod Stanley-BellDavid McDonnell
Chair of Management CtteeVice chair of Management Cttee