Benenden's Community Shop: Share Withdrawals Jan 2022
When the Community Shop launched in 2015, about 350 people bought shares in the venture. Without that capital, supplemented by various grants, the shop and café would never have got off the ground. The intention was always to return money to shareholders when finances permitted and in early 2020 plans were made to start the process. However, Covid struck and the greater concern was to ensure the shop’s survival.
In the financial year to March 2021 the shop made a loss, principally because of the closure of the café; but in the last six months there has been a dramatic turnaround. The management committee has concluded that about half the share capital of £86,000 can be returned to shareholders in the next few months, while still leaving a good margin of safety.
The principles for share withdrawals were agreed by shareholders at the Extraordinary General Meeting in February 2020 and they included that the local shareholder base should be kept as broad as possible, maintaining at least one share per person. It is therefore intended to offer withdrawal only to people with more than one £10 share (which accounts for the overwhelming majority of shareholders).
The first call on the available cash of about £43,000 will be to pay out in full to the estates of shareholders who have died; and to people who have left the village and want to withdraw their share capital. The rest of the available cash will then be divided among participating shareholders pro rata to the number of shares they hold.
As a rough guide, if all eligible shareholders opted to take part in the share withdrawal, each one would expect to receive between a third and a half of their invested cash. The balance of their investment would remain in shares until such time as another share withdrawal programme is undertaken.
Applications for share withdrawal must be received at the shop by 31 January 2022. Application forms will be available in the shop and on the shop website from the beginning of January. You only need to complete a form if you wish to withdraw share capital – if no form is received at the shop by the due date you will be deemed to have chosen not to take part in this withdrawal programme.
If you would like to donate your shares to Community Shop you can do so at any time. The application form contains an option to make such a donation.
When the applications have been processed and allocations made, payment will be sent by cheque to home addresses.
Many thanks again to everyone who enabled the idea of a community shop and café in the village to become reality.
Click here for the withdrawal application form. Applications for share withdrawal must be received at the Shop by 31 January 2022.
Shareholders in Benenden’s enabled the idea of a community shop and café in the village to become reality. Thanks again to everyone who contributed.