Our Impact on the Community
In 2017, Central Co-op shared the results of our first Impact Study, which gave hard numbers to the positive effect the co-op has on our state. In 2018, we asked Civic Economics to update this study in order to show the ripple effect that the Co-op's progressive compensation package and support for local producers have on our economy. The result: The report found Central Co-op’s economic activity generates an additional $8 million in Washington’s local economy compared to a conventional grocery chain store!
- Central Co-op returns 48% of its revenue to Washington State through direct economic activity alone (compare to 26% at a chain grocery)
- Including direct, indirect, and induced economic activity, Central Co-op returned 74 percent of its revenue to the State of Washington in 2017 (compare to 42% at a chain grocer)
- Central Co-op’s economic activity supports 82 additional jobs in Washington State compared to an average chain grocer
- With an average wage of $21.68/hour, Central Co-op’s wages are a full 27 percent higher than the statewide average for grocery stores.
This study shows that we are putting our cooperative principles into action for tangible results that go beyond the walls of our Co-op. These results demonstrate the power of community ownership and democratic governance as we put the values of our community to work in our Co-op! Congratulations and thank you to all our members!
Read the 2018 impact report
In 2017, Central Co-op hired Civic Economics to conduct a Local Impact Study to help us quantify exactly how our activities make a difference in our neighborhoods and state. Their study revealed:
- 52 cents of every dollar that is spent at Central Co-op stay within the State of Washington, compared to 23 cents at conventional grocery chains and 36 cents at standard co-ops (2012 national averages)
- 20% of the money you and your neighbors spend at Central Co-op is on products made in Washington– compared to only 4% at most grocery chains
- Our Co-op pays double the percentage of revenue on wages and benefits compared to average U.S. grocery chains
- In 2016, 87% of Central Co-op employees were eligible for benefits, compared to 56% at an average conventional chain
The two major ways that the Co-op achieves this is by hiring full time employees on living wage principles and by going out of its way to ensure Washington producers and suppliers are used whenever possible. This recirculation allows money to churn through the region, creating revenues used to build and support the roads, schools, bridges, and libraries that make this the vibrant community that it is today.
Read the 2016 impact report
Here's a summary of our impact in 2017: