My community of Greensboro NC is starting a bike coop as part of an existing food coop (an actual coop with 8,000 paid members, not a corporation nor nonprofit). Is anyone aware of other communities that have already done this and some lessons learned or advice on this?
The Durham Bike Co-op is local for you. Years ago, when I lived in Durham, I was a part of the small group of people to launch this thing, and I’m glad to see it is still up and running. https://www.durhambikecoop.org
NB: Sometimes, after reading to the end of a thread on the forum, the website suggests another. Sorry if this response seems out of date, but I was excited to see a post from Greensboro!
Yeah, back in 2017 I visited with several Durham coop members during a Sunday fixing day. As they explained, the Durham Bike Coop is technically a 501c3 nonprofit and not a coop. It’s one of the few organizations I’ve ever seen that thrives in an environment of mutual distrust. That is, the 7 or 8 core members don’t trust one another, but they are open about it and have created a system that deals with that mutual distrust. Of course that was 4 years ago, and I’m sure they have new leadership etc and have fixed things (yeah right ). I do like their new digs at the old Parks & Rec facility on the north side, complete with curtina wire.
We are having our annual statewide bike walk summit in Durham in November, so I hope to catch up with them then.
I have also chatted with folks at the Birmingham bike coop last fall. They are a bit more like the Community Cycling Center in Portland, except they are both a nonprofit (for their personnel and for funding/donations) and a firm (for their lease, utilities, etc.) I’ve also talked with the National Cycling Center of Winston-Salem which is both a nonprofit (for grants) and an S-Corp (again for its lease and for bike share.) I haven’t been able to connect with the Charlotte program yet nor the one in Chapel Hill. As far as I know, Raleigh doesn’t have a bike coop per say, but they do have alternative shops.