Our Bow Little Market and the Skagit Valley Farmers Market Coalition could be the beginnings of such a venture. The Bow Little Market is what they are calling a "Principled Business Concept". I call it a social enterprise.
BLM is lending influence to the other markets through the Skagit Valley Farmers Market Coalition (SVFMC) in hopes of laying down foundations for alternative economy. To address climate change (and most other global ailments) we must not only seek independence from fossil fuels, but also our limitless growth economic model as well.
The SVFMC is continuing to build a fund for an incentive program to bring more lower income EBT card users to the markets. We will be creating a sponsorship program here in the next couple of months that I hope creates a local, small business/ organization network. I would like it if the network had sponsors from community health, conservation, finance, local business and agriculture. The social equity created by such a network would benefit the program beyond funds by also creating a social net that would help educate and promote the program in the Valley. The incentive program is called "Double Your Bucks". Keri and Mouse got a grant for $18,500 and a 4% Friday Co-op grant. We are now trying to add to this existing fund. An EBT user can spend lets say $15 (we have not yet determined the weekly cap per customer) and will then receive $15 in county wide special market currency to spend at any of the participating Coalition markets. We hope this brings in lower income people for free educational opportunities as well - like cooking and reskilling classes. Many don't know that EBT can also be used to buy edible plant starts, trees and shrubs.
If you have any suggestions for organizations/businesses to approach please pass them my way! We will be bringing lists of suggestions to our meeting Dec. 17th.
Bow Little Market Lady