Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

March 1, 2014

Conference for small cooperatives held in March

TRAVERSE CITY — Tom Kalchik wants to help small, new cooperative businesses find success.

“Cooperatives are regular businesses, so they face the challenges any other business would face,” said Kalchik, program director of the Michigan State University Product Center. “What makes them unique is that the owners of the cooperative are also the users of the cooperative. For a small cooperative or a group that wants to start a cooperative, one of the real challenges is getting enough people together to make it a viable operation.”

The Michigan State University Product Center is home to the Michigan Cooperative Development Program. The cooperative development program is hosting a conference for small, emerging cooperatives at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center on March 17.

The conference will focus on financing new cooperatives, making business plans and marketing new businesses.

“We’re encouraging anybody from a newly formed cooperative or who might be interested in investigating a cooperative or association-type of business to attend,” Kalchik said. “We’re also putting some emphasis on consumer cooperatives.”

For more information, go to the calendar at

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