To help build on its past success and look toward a more sustainable future, The Saranac Lake Community Store has announced the launch of a new initiative! Following its first six years of operation, the initiative not only aims to raise the Store’s profile, but the profile of Adirondack design and creativity.
In order to achieve their goal, the Community Store is reaching out to new investors — as well as many original shareholders — through crowd-funding. They hope to raise $80,000 in the form of small loans, all to be repaid with interest starting in the third year. Investors will receive special perks for their support, such as discount cards and gift packages. According to the Community Store, participants may donate as little as $100.
Raised through Wefunder.com, the funds will be put toward re-branding, the establishment of an E-Commerce Site to allow for expansion, as well as the development of exclusive products with local appeal.
Said Community Store Chairperson Melinda Little in a statement: “We initially could only reach out to people who legally resided in New York State, and the vast majority of those investors live in, or have direct connections to Saranac Lake and the surrounding region. The Wefunder Campaign isn’t limited by state of residence, though. The offering is open to anyone, anywhere, and is featured as one of Wefunder’s new projects of interest. Early interest has been strong, with nearly $30,000 committed in less than two weeks since the project went live.”
Little added, “We’re really excited at the prospects for the future, and the Staff and Board are working together to plan and prepare for a future of great potential.”
To support the Saranac Lake Community Store’s Wefunder, visit wefunder.com/saranaclakecommunitystore.
About the Community Store
When the Ames Department Store chain went bankrupt in the early 2000s, many northern Adirondack villages like Saranac Lake were left with lackluster retail options. Without easy access to basic necessities, residents often had no choice but to make hundred-mile round trips. For many others, however, this wasn’t an option.
This is when a group of Saranac residents and business people came up with a solution: a “locally-focused, locally-owned mini-department store.” Saranac Lake Community Store, Inc. was formed in 2007, offering $100 per share to New York State residents. Though 750 investors assisted in start-up and operating costs, contributing to a capital of over $540,000, the raising of capital did not happen overnight. The recession of 2008 lengthened the fundraising process, and the rise of online shopping complicated matters more. Nonetheless, the Store pushed forward and eventually raised the funds it needed to open its doors.
Following the success of its start-up campaign, the Store opened on October 29, 2011, gaining both local and national attention as the first of its kind in New York State. Soon, it went above and beyond meeting the basic needs of Saranac residents. The Saranac Lake Community Store became known for its relationships with local authors, craftspeople and food producers, as a resource for knitters and other affinity groups, for its Customer Rewards program, and for providing friendly customer service.