Portswood bookshop launches community share offer; wants to become ‘beacon of alternative economy’

october books from side

Independent bookshop October Books has launched a community share offer, “enabling people to co-own their bookshop while taking back control of their high street”.

The business, which has recently become a Community Benefit Society, says that besides the potential financial return, community shares “empower people to be the change they want to see on their high street and support a business they really believe in”.

Jamie from October Books believes that Community Benefit Societies can be a big part of our high streets’ future.

He said: “There's a wave of this kind of organization coming, with many bars, shops, sustainable energy projects, and music venues shifting to a community owned model in the wake of Covid-19 and our current economic crisis.

“At October Books we are looking to become a beacon of this alternative economy.”

On its website the shop adds: “The share offer is to help us secure the future of October Books in our new location [since it bought the former NatWest bank premises in 2018 following a fundraiser ] and enable us to expand what we can offer to the community and use our position within it to improve all aspects of the local area. This offer will also enable us to apply for more funding in the future to both help the shop grow and allow us to help grassroots projects get off the ground. We are using this money to refinance some of our capitol and pay back some of our loanstock investors that invested with us 5 years ago when we bought the bank.”

At the time of writing £16,000 has been raised of a £150,000 target on the shop’s Crowdfunder page, with 13 days to go.

There’s more info about the community share offer on the shop’s website

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