In support of Canada's cooperative sector, ICMIF member The Co-operators has announced a CAD 200,000 COVID-19 Cooperative Assistance Fund to provide provincial cooperative associations with access to financial support (to a maximum of CAD 20,000 each). The fund will enable cooperative associations to support their members and small cooperatives in the wake of the pandemic.
The Co-operators believes that Canadian cooperatives enrich communities with collaborative solutions that build collective resilience - from food production, to retail services, to affordable housing, financial services and more. As many of these cooperatives have been negatively impacted by the complex financial and social challenges posed by COVID-19 The Co-operators took the decision to provide them with this funding.
"Like so many Canadian businesses, many coops are facing immense challenges in delivering the products and services that bring value to all Canadians," says Paul Hanna, Executive Vice-President, The Co-operators. "Through this CAD 200,000 relief fund, we're lending a helping hand to other cooperatives, upholding a movement that is designed to support the collective resilience of our communities."
"This funding allows cooperatives to reposition their businesses to meet the challenges of operating in a pandemic," says Erin Morgan, Executive Director, Ontario Co-operative Association. "It provides resources that can help them to pivot their business models to better meet the needs of the community."
This announcement is part of The Co-operators broader effort to support Canadian communities during the impacts and recovery of the pandemic and beyond. To date, the Canadian financial services and insurance cooperative has announced contributions totalling over CAD 600,000 in COVID-19 relief which has included:
- CAD 200,000 COVID-19 Co-operative Assistance Fund
- CAD 200,000 for United Way COVID-19 Relief
- CAD 220,000 in support of youth mental health during the pandemic