Assistance for Cooperatives

VA FAIRS assists producer groups in identifying emerging market trends that create opportunities for small-scale producer cooperatives. These trends often translate into opportunities for producers to transition into new types of agricultural production, processing and marketing ventures that reward attributes such as “family-farm” produced, and “locally grown” products.

 

These rapidly-emerging market opportunities for specialized, differentiated, and value-added products hold the greatest promise for limited-resource producers. Through new cooperative approaches, and our demonstrated ability to facilitate the establishment of cooperatives, VA FAIRS helps groups tap into this niche market.

 

VA FAIRS works with clients to create cooperative business entities that have the greatest chance of success, even when they fall outside of traditional parameters. It is our practice to employ novel and cutting edge tools to assure our client's success.



We often guide groups through the basic issues of choosing a legal status and the creation of bylaws. VA FAIRS staff assists groups in discussing and deciding on their objectives, as well as the legal options available for incorporation. Virginia cooperative law can be restrictive; we have often found that the best organizational choice for a group that functions as a cooperative is a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Read more about legal structures in our comprehensive guide: Virginia Business Legal Structures.

 

Ability to obtain funding can be a major obstacle to new businesses, particularly to ventures in rural areas. VA FAIRS assists our clients by developing feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing plans so a lender can better judge the potential of the business. We also assist our clients with grant applications. We have been successful in securing over millions of dollars in state and federal funds for our clients.

 

Check out the VA FAIRS Virtual Business Center, a free online business development tool entrepreneurs can utilize to develop a business plan and create financial statements.