Solidfund members voted to make a £2,500 contribution to Birmingham Warehouse Café, which re-opened as a worker co-op in February.
Unicorn Grocery, whose members are also Fund subscribers, put in another £1,000. All this helps with cashflow in a notoriously tricky and fast-moving business. Co-op member Sean Farmelo says the Café got its alcohol license two weeks ago, and is now in full swing. "The first few weeks we have taken quite a lot at the weekends and been very busy, but we expect this to increase as we get more events organised and now that we have the license. Currently we have 7 members, one of whom used to work in the previous establishment, and all are doing really well. We will soon be hiring more, now that we have longer hours".
Solidfund is also contributing £5,000 to the additional costs of bringing the 40th Anniversary General Assembly of CECOP, the European net work of co-ops in industry and services, to Manchester in June, to run alongside Co-operatives UK's Congress. We'll be organising a bus tour to Rochdale and Suma on Thursday 20th, planning a dinner at 8th Day in the evening, a full day of CECOP events on Friday 21st, and an open session on Saturday 22nd - provisionally under the banner theme 'Co-operatives in a time of social and political crisis'. On top of the £5k, Delta-T Devices, Infinity, Suma and Unicorn made top-up contributions of £2,400 to make the whole thing possible. Watch this space!